Monday Roundup: Bobcats Head out on Final Road Week
Thursday, March 12: Wings 4, Bobcats 3 (SO)
Friday, March 13: Ice Dogs 2, Bobcats 0
Saturday, March 14: Ice Dogs 5, Bobcats 3
Tuesday, March 17: Bobcats at Minotauros, Maysa Arena, 7:15pm
Friday, March 20: Bobcats at Wilderness, Northwoods Credit Union Arena, 7:05pm
Saturday, March 21: Bobcats at Wilderness, Northwoods Credit Union Arena, 7:05pm
Away We Go
MINOT, ND – With a Robertson Cup Playoff berth now in tow, the Bismarck Bobcats will start out their last week of regular-season away games when they head north to Maysa Arena for a Tuesday tilt against the rival Minot Minotauros.
It will be the tenth meeting of the season between the two North Dakota foes; Minot has claimed five of the first nine games of the season series.
Both sides enter Tuesday’s showdown with playoff positioning on their minds: the Cats are one win away from locking up the third seed in the Central Division playoffs; Minot sits seven points behind division-leading Austin with two games-in-hand on the Bruins.
Linemates Blake Lizotte (14g, 36a) and Christian Mohs (18g, 31a) continue to lead the Tauros in scoring, each averaging nearly a point per game in their first season in the NAHL.
Recently Minot added North Dakota All-State and All-State Tournament forward Matt Flom from the state champion Minot High Magicians as an affiliate player.
The Bobcats, meanwhile, sport three 40-plus point scorers: Evan Giesler (28g, 21a); Cullen Willox (20g, 26a); and Jared Spooner (9g, 32a).
Tuesday marks the first of three contests between the Bobcats and Minotauros in the last two weeks of the season; the two sides will meet again on March 27 and 28 at the VFW Sports Center.
Two by Four
Each coming off four-point weekends, Tanner Salsberry and Jared Spooner earned honorable mention for the Central Division Star of the Week Award Monday.
Salsberry had a flair for the dramatic with his two goals and two assists, scoring the goal that sent Thursday’s game to overtime against Aberdeen and striking on a power play in the last two minutes of regulation Saturday; he also chipped in a helper both Thursday and Saturday.
Spooner, meanwhile, submitted a workmanlike four-assist weekend to move to 41 points in his rookie campaign.
As the collegiate postseason gets deeper and deeper, eight Bobcat alums find themselves in conference semifinals after a productive weekend in the quarters.
In the WCHA, Matt Pohlkamp (2012-13) had an assist while 2010-12 Bobcat Tommy Burke went 2-0-0 in net with a combined 57 saves on 60 shots to power Bowling Green to a two-game sweep of Northern Michigan, vaulting the Falcons back into the top ten at #9.
2007-08 forward Blake Hietala and his second-seeded Michigan Tech Huskies will meet the Falcons in the semis thanks to a sweep of Alabama-Hunstville; Hietala had the game-winner in Saturday’s 3-0 clincher.
On the other side of the WCHA bracket, 2009-10 alum Dom Panetta contributed an assist for Ferris State as the Bulldogs ousted Bemidji State in two road games.
Goalie Aaron Nelson’s (2011-14) Minnesota State-Mankato Mavericks also advanced over Bryce Schmitt (2009-12) and Lake Superior State, giving the Bobcats representatives on all four teams in this week’s Final Five.
Other Bobcat alums moving onto their conferences’ respective big stages include: Alex Barron (2009-10, Quinnipiac), who notched a game-winner Friday for the Bobcats; Brandon Wildung (2011-12, Mercyhurst), thanks to a 2-1-0 weekend in net for the Lakers against Bentley; and John Furgele (2010-12, New Hampshire).
Also finding their way onto the postseason scoresheet were Nate Repensky (Yale, 1g, 1a), Dan Weissenhofer (Air Force, 1a) and Charlie Mosey (Dartmouth, 1a).
Following Tuesday’s intrastate clash in Minot, the Bobcats will play their last road series of the regular season with 7:05pm puck drops on Friday and Saturday in Cloquet, Minn., against the Minnesota Wilderness.
Live coverage of all three games will begin at 6:50pm 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.
Stay tuned to BismarckBobcats.com later this week for 2015 Robertson Cup Playoff ticket information!