Burke-a-mania

FRISCO, TX – On the heels of a strong week that featured three appearances and 57 saves, Bismarck Bobcats goalie Tommy Burke has been named the Second Star of the Week for the NAHL’s Combat Hockey Three Stars of the Week.

“More than anything, you have to look at being named a league star right now—as a goalie—to be a team award,” explained Burke, in his second season with the Bobcats out of Chaska, Minn. “It’s a reflection of our guys’ commitment to defense and how guys played hard in our own end all week.”

Burke opened the week with a 2-0 Wednesday shutout of Alexandria, his first career shutout on 24 saves. Friday he relieved Aaron Nelson in the third period of a 4-2 loss to the Blizzard, but stopped all eight shots he faced before being pulled for an extra attacker in the final minute-plus of the game. Burke put his signature on the three-game stretch by racking up 25 saves as the Bobcats dropped visiting Austin 4-2.

For the week Burke posted a 0.87 GAA and a .966 SV% while going 2-0-0.

“Wednesday was a huge win for us in Alexandria and Tommy was at his best,” said Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie. “The team plays with a lot of confidence with Tommy in goal. I think he learned a lot from Ryan Faragher last season and has translated that into being a top-level goaltender this season with NCAA Division I potential.”

Burke becomes the fifth Bobcat to merit a Star of the Week on the 2011-12 season, joining Shane Omdahl, Frank DeAugustine, Nick Miglio and Donald Olivieri on the league’s weekly honor roll.

More important than the accolade to Burke, however, is the team’s attitude entering the season’s final 14 games.

“It’s huge that we’re developing a defensive mindset coming up on the end of the season,” added Burke, who has not allowed more than two goals in any of his last five outings. “When we play well defensively, it takes a lot of pressure off of our offense, which we already know can explode on any given night.”

While the Bobcat offense has ranked near the top of the NAHL all season, the defense has clawed its way to fourth-best in the league, surrendering a Central Division-best 2.46 goals per game.

Burke and the Bobcats return to divisional action Friday when they make the trip east across I-94 to the Runestone Center for a 7:30 PM faceoff against the Alexandria Blizzard.

Friday’s contest will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide on the official internet television partner of the NAHL, FASTHockey, at http://nahl.fasthockey.com. Pregame coverage gets under way at 7:00 PM. Fans can watch the game—and all away contests—live at Reza’s Pitch at Third and Front in Bismarck, the official away game home of Bobcat Hockey.

Season tickets are still available for the second half of the 2011-12 season—and going fast! Call the Bobcat Hockey office at (701) 222-3300 or email gobobcathockey@aol.com for more information on reserving a pro-rated package for the rest of the season!