Stormfront

Bobcat Weekend Preview: Cats Return to Divisional Play with Blizzard Home-and-Home
 
Matchups: Bismarck Bobcats (18-16-1, 3rd Central) vs. Brookings Blizzard (11-15-6, 5th Central)
Games:  Friday, January 9, 7:15pm; Saturday, January 10, 7:15pm
Place: Larson Ice Center, Brookings, S.D.; VFW Sports Center, Bismarck, N.D.
This Year: Bobcats lead Blizzard 4-2-0
All-Time: Bobcats lead Blizzard 17-9-2
Radio: SuperTalk 1270 AM, 6:45pm both nights
Internet TV: http://NAHL.FASTHockey.com, 6:45pm both nights
 
BROOKINGS, SD – After opening 2015 out of division, the Bismarck Bobcats will jump back into Central action with a home-and-home series against the Brookings Blizzard, starting Friday at the Larson Ice Center.
 
It will be the first meeting between the Bobcats and Blizzard since November 26.
 
Both squads come into Friday on a high note: the Bobcats fresh off a road sweep of the Midwest-leading Minnesota Wilderness; Brookings gaining momentum with a 3-1 win Saturday at second-place Austin.
 
Though the Blizzard are just 3-5-1 since the start of December, their defense has been among the best in the division during that span, having allowed more than three goals just once in their last nine games.
 
The major contributing factor to Brookings’ defensive lockdown is 16-year-old goalie Ryan Kubic, who has appeared in 12 of the Blizzard’s 13 games since his late-November arrival. In that short time span, the rookie has rocketed to a third-place tie in the league’s GAA standings with an impressive 1.83 mark.
 
Up front, while Brookings continues to be led by the fearsome duo of Beau Michaud (10g, 25a) and Zach Glienke (12g, 13a), first-year forward Joe Anderson has surged into third on the Blizzard in goals with nine thanks to a five-game goal-scoring streak that spanned late November and early December.
 
On the other side, the Bobcat offense has been soaring over the last two-plus months: starting on November 1, the Cats have averaged 3.53 goals per game—a total of 67 goals—well above the 2014-15 league average of 2.95.
 
Leading the way of late have been the co-captains: Cullen Willox has 14 points (5g, 9a) in his last eight games upon returning from a leg injury that held him out through most of November; sparked by a shootout game-winner on November 26 at Brookings, Evan Giesler has cashed in nine goals and added six assists over the last 11 contests.
 
Putting a tough start to the season behind him, Bobcat goalie Hunter Shepard rides a personal three-game win streak into the weekend; the former Grand Rapids (Minn.) Thunderhawk has gone 5-2-0 over his last eight appearances after starting his rookie campaign 1-7-0—including a record of 0-2-0 against the Blizzard.
 
Saturday night the home-and-home wraps up with a 7:15pm tilt back in the capital region at the VFW Sports Center.
 
Tickets are now on sale for the Bobcats’ first home game of the New Year: fans can buy and print tickets 24 hours a day at BismarckBobcats.com or charge by phone at 222-3300.
 
Live coverage of Friday’s road scrap at Brookings will begin at 6:45pm 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.
 
Though the 2014-15 season has passed the half-way mark, there is still time to order season tickets for the year; fans who want to lock in their seats for the rest of the campaign should call the Bobcat office at 222-3300 today!