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Bobcat Game Day: Cats Open 2014-15 against Eagles

Game: Bismarck Bobcats (0-0-0) vs. Soo Eagles (1-1-0)
Time: Wednesday, September 17, 7:45pm
Place: Schwan Super Rink, Blaine, Minn.
This Year: Series tied 0-0-0
All-Time: Eagles lead series 1-0-0

BLAINE, MN – The Bismarck Bobcats will raise the curtain on their 18th season of hockey Wednesday at 7:45pm as they face the Soo Eagles on Day One of the Easton NAHL Showcase at the Schwan Super Rink.

Wednesday marks the second consecutive year that the Cats and Eagles will do battle at the outset of the Showcase; the Bobcats dropped their 2013 season opener to Soo when their late rally came up short in a 3-2 defeat. It was the Cats’ first season-opening loss under head coach Layne Sedevie.

Coming into Wednesday’s lidlifter, the Bobcat roster looks starkly different from the one that came within a goal of the Central Cup four months ago: 16 players from the final 2013-14 roster have either advanced onto the collegiate ranks, moved up or been traded during the offseason.

Of last year’s veteran-laden team, only Ryan Callahan, Evan Giesler, Matt Perry, Cullen Willox, Alex Toscano, Tony German, Nick Wallace and Alex Strand remain.

Instead of loading up on older players, however, Sedevie and his staff opted for a younger look for 2014-15, as the opening-day roster boasts 20 players who were born in 1995 or later—including 1998-born Bismarck High product Johnny Witzke.

With Bismarck native Aaron Nelson—who owns franchise records for wins, saves, shutouts and minutes—matriculated to Minnesota State-Mankato, the Cats turn to newcomers Hunter Shepard and Alex Bitsakis in net. Shepard makes the jump to the junior ranks after winning the Frank Brimsek Award in 2014 for the top high school goaltender in the state of Minnesota; Bitsakis arrives from anchoring the Elliot Lake Bobcats of the NOJHL to a top-five finish in 2013-14.

Across the ice, the Eagles boast a more experienced register of skaters: returning a combined 11 forwards and defensemen from last season including Chase Matson, who scored the game-winner the last time the two teams met.

Live coverage of Wednesday\’s opener will begin at 7:15pm 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.

With the 2014-15 now here, demand for season tickets is at an all-time high; fans who want to lock in their seats for the entire campaign should call the Bobcat office at 222-3300 today!