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preview 2016-11-18

Warm Front Approaching

Bobcats Prepare for Central’s Hottest Teams

Matchup: Bismarck Bobcats (9-8-1) vs Minot Minotauros (13-4-2); Brookings Blizzard (10-6-1)
Games: Friday, November 18, 7:15pm; Saturday, November 19, 7:30pm
Venue: VFW Sports Center, Bismarck, N.D.; Larson Ice Center, Brookings, S.D.
Season Series: Bobcats lead Minotauros 2-0-0; Bobcats lead Blizzard 1-0-0
All-Time: Bobcats lead Minotauros 38-19-4; Bobcats lead Blizzard 29-13-4
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

BISMARCK, ND – To close out the first third of their 2016-17 schedule, the Bismarck Bobcats will square off with two surging division rivals when they host the Minot Minotauros Friday at the VFW Sports Center before traveling to Larson Ice Center for a Saturday date with the Brookings Blizzard.

In their last 10 games, both the Minotauros and Blizzard have posted 7-3-0 records to claim the top two spots in the Central Division standings, respectively.

Minot’s run to a seven-point lead atop the division has been fueled by a searing offense: the Minotauros have the fourth-best offense league-wide at 3.85 goals per game, turning heads last weekend with 18 goals in three nights—including a nine-point (6g, 3a) weekend from Reid Stefanson.

“It’s fair to say right now that Minot is an offensive juggernaut,” observed Bobcats goalie Will Ulrich, who has been in net for both Bobcat wins at Maysa Arena this season. “They can score fast and in bunches, so they are never really out of a game.”

Minotauro forward Alex Adams is tied for the league lead in scoring with 24 points on 12 goals and 12 assists.

Meanwhile, Brookings has won four straight games to sneak two points ahead of the Bobcats in the standings. Rookie Paul Cotter has five goals and four assists in his last eight games—including a highlight reel goal against the Bobcats on October 22—to seize the Blizzard’s team lead in scoring.

“The Blizzard are young and very talented,” credited Bobcat blueliner Kyle Siemers, who scored his first two goals of the season on November 10, “so you need to be able to take away their time and space. Putting a body on their skill players will be a big key [Saturday].”

For the Bobcats, second-year wingers Tobias Fladeby (10g, 13a) and Parker Mismash (9g, 14a) are among those tied for fourth in the NAHL in points at 23—just one behind Minot’s Adams. Goalie Will Ulrich, who committed Wednesday to Division I Air Force Academy, is 7-7-1 on the year and is third-best among Central Division keepers with a .913 SV%.

Tickets are on sale right now for Minot’s first visit to the capital: fans can buy and print tickets 24 hours a day at BismarckBobcats.com or charge-by-phone at 222-3300.

Friday’s chapter in the Battle of Highway 83 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.