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On the Road Again

Bobcats Head South for First Away Games
 
Matchup: Bismarck Bobcats (2-5-0, 6th Central) at Aberdeen Wings (5-3-0, 3rd Central); at Brookings Blizzard (4-6-0, 4th Central)
Games: Friday, October 16, 7:15pm; Saturday, October 17, 7:30pm
Place: Odde Ice Center, Aberdeen, S.D.; Larson Ice Center, Brookings, S.D.
Last Year: Bobcats won regular season 7-2-3; Bobcats won regular season 7-5-0
All-Time: Bobcats lead Wings 36-14-10; Bobcats lead Blizzard 20-12-2
Radio: SuperTalk 1270 AM, SuperTalk1270.com and the radioPup smartphone app, 6:45pm Friday; 7:00pm Saturday
Internet TV: http://NAHL.FASTHockey.com, 6:45pm Friday; 7:00pm Saturday
 
ABERDEEN, SD – After a rare week off to rest and recover, the Bismarck Bobcats will look to snap a five-game losing streak when they set out for their first true away games of 2015-16 in consecutive nights against the Aberdeen Wings and Brookings Blizzard.
 
With 13 days off since their last contest—a 4-2 home loss to Minot—the Cats will wrap up their longest non-holiday layoff since November of 2009.
 
“Having a weekend off is good to rest up any bumps and bruises and to get guys healthy, but it’s a double-edged sword because we would all have rather gotten out there and played again right away,” assessed veteran forward Aaron Herdt, the Cats’ top goal scorer with four. “We’ve all wanted to get back on the ‘W’ train as soon we can.”
 
The rest, though, will benefit the Bobcats from a health standpoint: point-per-game winger Travis Wood is expected back in the lineup Friday in Aberdeen.
 
Over the course of their five-game slide, the Cats’ offense has struggled to a total of just nine goals—1.8 goals per game.
 
“We haven’t been scoring, but it hasn’t been for a lack of good chances,” stated Bobcats assistant coach Jim Peluso, “our problem has been finishing them off. As a staff, we’re hoping to see our guys play with a little more grit—a little more of an edge—and find a way to work even harder and put away the chances they’ve been creating.”
 
In Aberdeen, the Cats’ offense will face its toughest test of the year: Aberdeen has allowed the fewest goals league wide at 16, and is third-best in goals-against per game at 2.00. Rookie goalie Peter Thome enters the weekend third in the NAHL with a .937 SV%. Last Saturday’s 5-3 road loss to the Minnesota Magicians was the first time all year the Wings had conceded more than three goals all year.
 
Following a team-record 4-1-0 start to 2015-16, the Blizzard—like the Bobcats—have dropped their last five contests.
 
Pacing Brookings’ offense early on has been the duo of Kane Durment (4g, 7a) and Mikael Hakkarainen (3g, 5a) with a combined 19 points. Nobody else on the Blizzard has more than four points.
 
Given a ‘C’ ranking as a potential fourth-to-sixth round 2016 draft pick, Hakkarainen was one of 11 current or former NAHL players listed on the Players to Watch list by NHL Central Scouting two weeks ago.
 
Friday’s first true road game of 2015-16 will be broadcast live on locally SuperTalk 1270 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—with pregame coverage starting at 6:45pm.
 
Season tickets are now on sale for the 2015-16 campaign; if you want to beat the rush of 40,000 fans for this season, now is the time! Call 222-3300 today to reserve your seats.