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Bobcat Weekend Preview: Bobcats Wrap Home Stand with Aberdeen Set
 
Matchups: Bismarck Bobcats (22-18-1, 3rd Central) vs. Aberdeen Wings (18-21-2, 4th Central)
Games:  Friday, January 30, 7:15pm; Saturday, January 31, 7:15pm
Place: VFW Sports Center, Bismarck, N.D.
This Year: Bobcats lead Wings 5-0-1
All-Time: Bobcats lead Wings 34-12-8
Radio: SuperTalk 1270 AM, 6:45pm both nights
Internet TV: http://NAHL.FASTHockey.com, 6:45pm both nights
 
BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats will conclude their current three-game home stand with a pivotal series against the Aberdeen Wings Friday and Saturday at the VFW Sports Center.
 
Coming into the weekend, the Cats hold a seven-point edge on Aberdeen for third place—and an 11-3 lead in the Titan Machinery Dakota Cup standings—but with four points on the line, things have the chance to change quickly in the Central Division landscape.
 
“You’ve got four points, but it’s really eight,” explained Bobcats assistant coach Garrett Roth, who spent the first two years of his coaching career with the Wings, “because not only does the team that wins each night get two points, the [losing side] loses a shot at those points. Intra-division series like this, with teams right next to each other in the standings, can have a huge impact on the standings in just two nights.”
 
Aberdeen, who starts their week Thursday at home against Brookings, is fresh off a road-split against the Midwest Division-leading Minnesota Wilderness that featured a 2-0 Andrew Shortridge shutout of the high-octane Wilderness.
 
Earlier this week, the Wings reacquired forward Ryan Cook from Lincoln of the USHL. Cook made 55 appearances for Aberdeen in 2013-14, contributing two goals and 11 assists as an 18-year-old rookie.
 
Wings captain Kyle Haak has soared to the top of the visitors’ scoring charts over the past two months, scoring two goals to go with 11 helpers since November 29 to take control of Aberdeen’s point race with 32.
 
On the other bench, the Bobcats bounced back from a home-and-home sweep at the hands of Brookings two weeks ago with a 3-2 overtime victory Saturday over the Blizzard in their only game last week.
 
First-year netminder Hunter Shepard made 14 saves Saturday to pick up his sixth win in seven starts to improve to 9-10-0 on a season that saw the reigning Frank Brimsek Award winner struggle to a 1-7-0 mark out of the gates—earning the former Grand Rapids Thunderhawk honorable mention for the Central Division’s Star of the Week award.
 
Co-captain Evan Giesler, meanwhile, scored the Cats’ first tally against the Blizzard to seize fourth place all-time in franchise history with 47 career goals. The Air Force recruit is one point away from becoming the seventh Bobcat to ever reach 100 for a career and first since Dan Zawacki (2010-12).
 
Tickets are now on sale for the latest installments of the Dakota Cup: fans can buy and print tickets 24 hours a day at BismarckBobcats.com or charge by phone at 222-3300.
 
Live coverage of Friday’s series opener 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 has passed the half-way mark, there is still time to order season tickets for the year; fans who want to lock in their seats for the rest of the campaign should call the Bobcat office at 222-3300 today!