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Bobcats Take Aim at Playoff Berth as Regular Season Closes
 
Matchup: Bismarck Bobcats (28-28-2) vs Austin Bruins (22-27-9, 53 pts)
Games: Friday, April 7, 7:15pm; Saturday, April 8, 7:15pm
Venue: VFW Sports Center, Bismarck, N.D.
Season Series: Bobcats lead Bruins 7-3-0
All-Time Series: Bobcats lead Bruins 35-23-4
Radio: SuperTalk 1270 AM, SuperTalk1270.com and the radioPup smartphone app (Bismarck market), 6:50pm both nights
Internet TV: HockeyTV.com, 6:50pm both nights
 
BISMARCK, ND – In need of two wins and a little help from some of their biggest rivals to make the 2017 Robertson Cup Playoffs, the Bismarck Bobcats will wrap up the 2016-17 regular season with a two-game home series against the Austin Bruins starting Friday at the VFW Sports Center.
 
Coming into the weekend, the Bobcats (28-28-2, 58 pts) sit three points behind Brookings (28-25-5, 61 pts) for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division. To reach the postseason, the Bobcats not only must win both games against Austin but also need the Blizzard to lose both games in a home-and-home against Aberdeen.
 
Austin, however, is far from a pushover: arriving at the VFW Sports Center as the hottest team in the division—undefeated in regulation at 2-0-2 since being eliminated from the playoff race three weeks ago.
 
“If we come into the weekend thinking that we’re going to get easy points off of Austin just because they’re in last place, our season is going to be ending on Saturday no matter what happens in South Dakota,” asserted Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, whose club has gone to seven straight postseasons. “The Bruins have been very talented all year and now they’re playing with no pressure and have nothing to lose coming into our barn to play spoiler.”
 
50-point club members Justin Misiak (24g, 32a) and Travis Kothenbuetel (22g, 31a) have helped fuel Austin’s late-season charge, combining for three goals and five assists in the last four games. Bruin netminder Alex Schilling is coming off a season-best weekend that saw the former Wayzata Trojan stop 68 of 71 shots volleyed his way en route to the Central Division Star of the Week honors.
 
Leading Bobcat scorer Matt Barry (23g, 36a) is coming off his first career hat trick Saturday at Brookings and is currently tied with Paul Cotter for the rookie scoring lead league-wide; veteran winger Tobias Fladeby’s 25 goals and 27 assists have given the Cats their first team with multiple 50-point scorers since Adam Knochenmus and Patrick Moore did so in 2012-13.
 
Stepping at Brookings in for starting goalie Severi Isokangas—out due to illness—Bobcat goalie Camden Haugenoe made 49 saves in a 1-1-0 weekend to keep the Cats’ postseason dreams alive.
 
It will also be Alumni Weekend for the Bobcats, with dozens of former Bobcat players descending on the capital to celebrate the team’s 20th season of junior hockey in Bismarck/Mandan. Additionally, the Cats will be auctioning off their road black jerseys following Friday’s bout.
 
Tickets are now on sale for both of the Bobcats’ final home games of the regular season: fans can buy and print their tickets 24 hours a day online at BismarckBobcats.com or charge by phone at 222-3300.
 
Friday’s penultimate home contest will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270 AM, and worldwide on HockeyTV.com–the web television partner of the North American Hockey League–with pregame coverage starting at 6:50pm.
 
Season tickets for the 2017-18 campaign are now available for pre-order: fans can get more information or reserve their seats for all of next year now by calling 222-3300 or by texting TICKETS to 701-390-7422.

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