Bobcats Head South to Continue Division Semis
BROOKINGS, SD – The Bismarck Bobcats will head south this weekend with advancement on their minds as they travel to Larson Ice Center for Game Three of the Central Division Semifinals against the Brookings Blizzard Friday night.
With the Bobcats leading the best-of-five-game playoff series 2-0, a win on Friday would clinch the first-round bout against the Blizzard.
“A game that end’s another team’s season is always the hardest to win,” noted Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, who has presided over a 4-3 record in elimination games in five playoff series. “Our guys need to be focused from the opening puck drop Friday because Brookings is going to throw the kitchen sink at us to keep their season alive.”
In four regular-season meetings in Brookings, the Cats went 2-2-0 at Larson Ice Center.
Though they are fresh off a pair of wins to open the playoffs that saw them outscore the Blizzard 14-6, a single-weekend high for offensive output, the Bobcats don’t want to read too much into last week’s success.
“Saturday we got too caught up in how well we did on Friday and started poorly,” commented Bobcat forward Bob Kinne on falling behind Brookings twice before rallying for a 6-3 win in Game Two. “Coach always tells us that you need a short memory in the postseason, win or lose, and it’s important that we learn our lesson from the first half of Saturday’s game heading down to Brookings.”
Kinne chipped in four assists to help fuel the Cats’ opening-weekend scoring spree.
The forward line of Kinne, Matt Anders and Seth Blair—though listed as the fourth line on the depth chart—paced the offensive explosion with seven goals and eight assists, including a hat trick by Blair in Friday’s 8-3 win.
“I may have had a bunch of the goals but all the credit goes to Matt and Bob,” hailed Blair, a Century High product who Sedevie acquired as a free agent at February’s roster deadline. “Matt is a great scoring threat and gets to the net to create great scoring chances and Bob works his tail off every shift, banging bodies and making plays.”
Blair currently sits atop the NAHL playoff scoring list with seven points on five goals and two assists.
Game Three is scheduled for a 7:30 PM start at Larson Ice Center. Should the Bobcats not come away victorious, Game Four will follow Saturday, also at 7:30.
Friday’s elimination contest will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide on the official internet television partner of the NAHL, FASTHockey, at http://nahl.fasthockey.com. Pregame coverage gets under way at 7:00 PM.