Bobcats Kick off West Coast Swing in Fresno
FRESNO, CA – The Bismarck Bobcats open up their longest road trip of the 2012-13 season Friday as they take on the Fresno Monsters for the first of two games at Selland Arena.
Starting with their first-ever trip to central California, the Bobcats are on a three-week swing that will include the states of California, Washington, South Dakota and Minnesota—spanning over 4,800 miles to play six games.
“Trips this long can be stressful, but there can be a lot of hidden benefits,” explained Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, “especially when it comes to team unity. Sometimes certain guys will have little groups early in the year, but these kind of roadies have a way of bringing everyone together and making the team a lot closer.”
The Bobcats and Monsters have already met twice this season, with the Cats claiming back-to-back 2-1 victories over Fresno in late September at the VFW Sports Center.
Both sides will have familiar faces in net back in the fold heading into Friday’s clash, as the Cats welcomed Aaron Nelson back last Friday at home against Austin as the Bismarck native posted 42 saves in his season debut amid a 4-3 shootout win; Tomas Sholl, a 2012 Top Prospects Selection for Fresno, is 1-2-1 in four starts since returning to the Monsters.
Neither netminder was on their respective roster when the Monsters visited Bismarck.
For the Bobcats, special teams will once again be a focus for the upcoming weekend, but it will be a different point of emphasis for the black and gold at Selland Arena than their previous meeting as their previously floundering power play has tallied goals in four straight games while the penalty kill—formerly in the league’s top five—has surrendered five goals in three contests.
“Our ‘PK’ needs to get back to hard work and get back to sacrifice,” stated Sedevie, “because when guys are working hard and putting themselves between the puck and the net, our penalty kill succeeds. We’ve gotten away from that over the past few weeks and it needs to turn around, especially on the road.”
While the Bobcats will open a long road trip Friday, the Monsters will close a 45-day stretch to open the season without a home game, including five straight weeks on the road, as they host their first contest at Selland Arena against the Cats.
The West Coast swing begins Friday with a puck drop scheduled for 9:35 PM, CST.
Friday’s road tilt 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 9:05.
Season tickets for the 2012-13 season are now on sale—and going fast! Call the Bobcat Hockey office today at (701) 222-3300 to reserve your seats for another great season of Championship Entertainment.