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preview-2016-12-02

New Beginnings

Bobcats Open December with Critical Tilts
 
Matchups: Bismarck Bobcats (11-11-1) vs Minnesota Wilderness (13-11-2); Brookings Blizzard (12-7-2)
Games: Friday, December 2, 7:15pm; Saturday, December 3, 7:05pm
Venues: VFW Sports Center, Bismarck, N.D.; Larson Ice Center, Brookings, S.D.
Season Series: Wilderness lead Bobcats 3-0-0; Bobcats lead Blizzard 2-0-0
All-Time: Wilderness lead Bobcats 12-7-2; Bobcats lead Blizzard 30-13-4
Radio: SuperTalk 1270 AM, SuperTalk1270.com and the radioPup smartphone app, 6:45pm Friday; 6:35pm Saturday
Internet TV: http://www.HockeyTV.com, 6:45pm Friday; 6:35pm Saturday
 
BISMARCK, ND – Having dropped all three games over the Thanksgiving holiday, the Bismarck Bobcats will try to get right on the upcoming weekend against two teams who continue to climb the Central Division standings in the Minnesota Wilderness and Brookings Blizzard—starting at home Friday against Minnesota before a trip to Brookings Saturday.
 
Friday’s tilt with the Wilderness will be a rematch from the prior weekend, when the Cats fell by scores of 3-1 and 5-2 in two games at Northwoods Credit Union Arena to close out a disappointing November that saw the black and gold post a 3-6-0 mark and slip to fifth place.
 
In Saturday’s 5-2 defeat in Cloquet, Minn., tensions flared and fists flew in a third period that featured 48 combined penalty minutes.
 
“Emotions were pretty high [Saturday] and now playing [Minnesota] again for the third time in a row I don’t think that will change too much,” commented Bobcat winger Joey Sardina, who has four points (2g, 2a) in his last five games. “I wouldn’t be surprised if things were a little chippy out there on Friday because of that.”
 
Minnesota co-captain Tim Nicksic leads the Wilderness offense, averaging a point per game with 13 goals and 13 assists in 26 appearances in 2016-17. Netminder Trevor Micucci is 2-0-0 against the Bobcats this season, having allowed just four goals in two starts—and none in the first 50 minutes of regulation in either contest.
 
Brookings—who plays Minot Thursday before an idle Friday—comes into the week’s action riding high after scoring a season-high eight goals in an 8-0 mauling of the first-place Minotauros on Saturday.
 
“Brookings and the Wilderness are pretty similar teams—young teams with speed and talent—so the gameplan doesn’t change too much,” noted Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, whose 2015-16 squad bounced back from a 4-4-0 November with a 6-1-1 December. “We need to improve our defensive zone play and have good puck possession to deny their speed and talent the chance to create offense on the rush.”
 
Rookie center Paul Kotter scored three times and added a pair of helpers last weekend to improve his Blizzard-leading point total to 22 (10g, 12a).
 
For the Bobcats, second-year forward Tobias Fladeby used a five-goal, seven-assist month of November to take the team lead in goals (12), assists (16) and points (28). In net, first-year goalie Camden Haugenoe has been named Friday’s starter after stopping 42 of 46 shots in two appearances (one start) in Cloquet last weekend.
 
Tickets are on sale now for Friday’s grudge match: fans can buy and print their tickets 24 hours a day at BismarckBobcats.com or charge-by-phone at 222-3300.
 
Friday’s divisional throwdown 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 6:45pm.
 
Pro-rated season tickets are now on sale for the Bobcats’ landmark platinum anniversary campaign fans can get more information or reserve their seats for all of Season Twenty now by calling 222-3300.

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