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Stateside

Bobcats Stay In-State Heading into Christmas

Matchups: Bismarck Bobcats (14-11-0, 4th Central) vs Minot Minotauros (14-11-3, 2nd Central); Brookings Blizzard (13-11-3, 3rd Central)
Games: Friday, December 18, 7:35pm; Saturday, December 19, 7:15pm
Venue: Maysa Arena, Minot, N.D.; VFW Sports Center, Bismarck, N.D.
Season Series: Bobcats and Minotauros tied 2-2-0; Bobcats lead Blizzard 2-1-0
All-Time: Bobcats lead Minotauros 33-14-4; Bobcats lead Blizzard 22-13-2
Radio: SuperTalk 1270 AM, SuperTalk1270.com and the radioPup smartphone app, 7:05pm Friday; 6:45pm Saturday
Internet TV: http://NAHL.FASTHockey.com, 7:05pm Friday; 6:45pm Saturday

MINOT, ND – For their final two games before the 11-day Christmas break, the Bismarck Bobcats will stay in North Dakota: first heading to Maysa Arena Friday to duel with the archrival Minot Minotauros before returning to the VFW Sports Center for Teddy Bear Toss Night against the Brookings Blizzard.

In four meetings so far this season, the Bobcats and Minotauros have each come away with two wins; Minot claimed the first two meetings in October and November, then the Cats came back with victories on consecutive nights to open December.

The Minotauros will welcome leading scorer Johnny Walker (14g, 13a) back into their lineup after the Arizona State commit spent the previous weekend in the USHL with the Chicago Steel. Walker has a goal and three assists against the Bobcats so far in 2015-16.

Lucas Murray, who holds the second-best GAA in the Central Division at 2.38, is 2-1-0 in three starts for Minot against the Bobcats this season.

Walker—in eighth league-wide for points—sits two points ahead of the Blizzard’s top-producing duo of Kane Durment (9g, 16a) and Mikael Hakkarainen (7g, 18a) coming into the weekend.

Brookings goalie Josh Kuemichel, winner of his only start against the Bobcats behind 46 saves on November 25, is now joined by newcomers Magnus Lindhe and Austin Smith—both of whom have joined the Blizzard within the last two weeks.

Center Aaron Herdt (2g, 5a) and defenseman Patrik Demel (1g, 6a) have come out firing for the Cats in December, each picking up seven points in the month’s first four contests while Alex Strand has contributed three goals and an assist in that time frame.

Netminder Hunter Shepard has steadied the Bobcats on the back end, allowing just seven goals in his last five starts while posting a .951 SV% in those appearances.

Saturday’s game against Brookings will be the Bobcats’ Holiday Party and Teddy Bear Toss Night—with stuffed animals thrown onto the ice being donated to Toys for Tots, Carrie’s Kids and the Sanford Hospital Children’s Wing. Fans who bring a stuffed animal to throw will receive a free poster.

Tickets for Saturday’s third annual Teddy Bear Toss are on sale now: fans can buy and print online at BismarckBobcats.com, by clicking “Shop Now” on the team Facebook page or charge-by-phone at 222-3300.

Friday’s installment of the Battle of Highway 83 will be broadcast live 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 pregame coverage starting at 7:05pm.

Season tickets are still on sale for the 2015-16 season at a pro-rated price; if you want to beat the rush of over 40,000 fans for this year, now is the time! Call 222-3300 to reserve your seats today.