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Beyond the Sea

Monday Roundup: Batna Named Latvian Captain at World Juniors
 
Last Week:
Wednesday, November 26: Bobcats 3, Blizzard 2 (SO)
Friday, November 28: Wilderness 5, Bobcats 4
Saturday, November 29: Bobcats 4, Wilderness 3 (OT)
This Week:
Friday, December 5: Bobcats vs. Wings, VFW Sports Center, 7:15pm
Saturday, December 6: Bobcats at Minotauros, Maysa Arena, 7:35pm
 
Batna to Lead Team Latvia
 
ASIAGO, ITALY – Bismarck Bobcats forward Oskars Batna has been named captain of Team Latvia to compete in Group A of Division I at the 2015 World Junior Championships.
 
“It is a true honor to be able to represent my country at World Juniors,” expressed Batna, who played for the Latvians in the 2014 installment of the IIHF Under-20 summit, as well. “Being able to put on the jersey for Latvia is a dream come true.”
 
As part of the second-highest tier at the upcoming World Junior tournament, Latvia will be pitted against Austria, Belarus, Italy, Norway and Slovenia; the winner of the group will be promoted to the Top Division for 2016, which includes hockey powers such as the United States, Canada, Finland, Sweden and Russia.
 
Thanks to a thrilling quarterfinal run to the Olympic quarterfinals in Sochi earlier this year that saw the Latvians nearly upset eventual gold medalist Canada, expectations are running high at every level for the Republic.
 
“Everyone back home is very excited after the Olympic team’s performance,” explained Batna, “and now that the U-18 team has reached the [IIHF tournament’s] elite division, our team is very motivated to win our group to move up to the elites, too.”
 
Batna will take a three-week leave from the Bobcats to participate in the tournament, which runs December 14-20 at the Pala Hodegart in Asiago, Italy.
 
2015 marks the sixth time in the last seven years that a Bobcat has played for his country at World Juniors, comprising: Nick Jensen (Denmark, 2009 & 2010); Nikolaj Rosenthal (2011): Filip Starzynski (2012 & 2013); and Batna. Before joining the Bobcats last season, Huba Sekesi also played for Team Germany in the Top Division at the 2013 World Junior Championships.
 
Tough Room
 
Thanks to five point Thanksgiving weekends, Bobcat veterans Evan Giesler and Tanner Salsberry picked up honorable mentions for the Central Division Star of the Week award Monday.
 
Both Giesler and Salsberry netted three goals in the three-game holiday week along with two assists. They also each netted game-winning goals: Giesler striking in the sixth round of the shootout in Wednesday’s win at Brookings; Salsberry potting a power play goal in overtime to secure Saturday’s 4-3 home victory over the Wilderness.
 
Alumni Update
 
While alums such as Tyler Richter (2009-12) and Huba Sekesi (2013-14) made the pilgrimage to the VFW Sports Center to watch the Bobcats over Thanksgiving break, 14 other former Bobcats found their way onto the scoresheet at the college and pro levels despite a light schedule, while another found himself one step away from the NHL to start the week.
 
Monday the Anaheim Ducks announced that they have reassigned 2009-11 Bobcat goalie Ryan Faragher to the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL. It is Faragher’s second stint with the Ducks’ top minor league affiliate this season and once again gives the black and gold two alums at the AHL level (Tony Turgeon, San Antonio).
 
At the D-I level, 2009-10 Bobcat Alex Barron picked up a pair of goals as the 14th-ranked Quinnipiac Bobcats split a home-and-home series with Massachusetts.
 
Another 2009-10 product, goalie Ryan Massa, made 42 total saves as #11 Nebraska-Omaha split a two-game set at second-ranked North Dakota—including stopping every UND shooter in Friday’s shootout at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
 
Including Barron, eight members of the black and gold fraternity turned in multi-point weekends: Blake Hietala (Michigan Tech, 1g, 1a); George Malliaras (St. Norbert, 1g, 1a); Sam Rendle (Bemidji State, 2a); Adam Knochenmus (UW-Eau Claire, 2a); Patrick Moore (UW-Eau Claire, 2a); Don Olivieri (Nazareth, 2a); Sam Dougherty (St. Norbert, 2a).
 
Other alums to pick up points were Frankie DeAugustine (UMass-Boston, 1g), Dominic Panetta (Ferris State, 1a), Nick Miglio (Utica, 1a), Charlie Aus (Concordia [MN], 1a) and Brett Bower (St. Norbert, 1a).
 
Back in the pros, Faragher’s Utah Grizzlies ECHL teammate Myles Harvey collected his fourth assist of 2014-15 in the Grizzlies’ 4-3 shootout win over the Idaho Steelheads.
 
Coming Up
 
With a 6-3-1 November—their best month of 2014-15 yet—now in the rear view mirror, the Bobcats will wrap up their three-game home stand with a 7:15pm Friday tilt against their arch rivals, the Aberdeen Wings, at the VFW Sports Center.
 
Through three games, the Cats lead the Titan Machinery Dakota Cup points standing over the Wings by a count of 5-2.
 
Tickets are now on sale for Friday’s rivalry showdown: fans can buy and print tickets 24 hours a day at BismarckBobcats.com or charge by phone at 222-3300.
 
Live coverage of the home stand finale will begin at 6:45pm locally on SuperTalk 1270, KLXX-AM, the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, and worldwide online at NAHL.FASTHockey.com, the official web television partner of the North American Hockey League.
 
Though the 2014-15 season is now under way, there is still time to order season tickets for the year; fans who want to lock in their seats for the entire campaign should call the Bobcat office at 222-3300 today!