Bobcats Head South for Dakota Cup Clash
ABERDEEN, SD – The Bismarck Bobcats will hit the road for a big divisional weekend as they travel to the Odde Ice Center to open a two-game set against the arch-rival Aberdeen Wings starting Friday at 7:15 PM.
Through two meetings, the Bobcats hold a 4-1 advantage over the Wings in the Titan Machinery Dakota Cup Standings with 10 contests remaining between the two sides this season.
Both teams come into the weekend with positive momentum from the holiday weekend: the Bobcats swept a home-and-home series from second-place Brookings while the Wings stunned the league-leading Austin Bruins 4-3 on Friday in Aberdeen.
“Odde Ice Center is a tough place to play; I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen that crazy crowd there get behind a team and really propel them,” credited Bobcats assistant coach Garrett Roth, who spent his first two seasons as a coach in the NAHL with the Wings. “It’s a fun atmosphere but, as the road team, we need to try and take the crowd out of it as soon as we can.”
Friday’s game will be the Cats’ first visit to Odde Ice Center this season after eliminating the Wings from the 2012 Central Division Semifinals there in May.
The Bobcat special teams helped power a 3-0-1 Thanksgiving week, with the power play chipping in two goals while the penalty kill allowed just one opposing tally while killing off 15 penalties in four games.
“Our ‘PK’ really came together last week because the hard work came back,” assessed Bobcat defenseman Levi Blom, who leads the team in plus/minus with a +10 rating on the year. “Everyone had each other’s’ backs, the support defense was strong and guys were blocking shots and cutting off entry, even in the neutral zone.”
Defensively, the Bobcats are gaining confidence: allowing one goal or less in three of their four Thanksgiving week games.
Goalie Aaron Nelson buoyed the Cats’ back-end over the holiday, turning aside 95 of 98 shots en route to his second Central Division Star of the Week award of 2012-13.
Up front, the Bobcats’ top-scoring line of Adam Knochenmus, Patrick Moore and Shane Omdahl received a big lift from the rest of the team’s lines, as 10 of the 13 goals scored by players in black and gold last week came from lines two through four.
“That production from the rest of the guys is what we, as a coaching staff, have been waiting for,” stressed Roth, who played forward for the Bobcats for two years starting in 2001. “If we want to be at our most dangerous, we need production and hard work from all 12 forwards. And not just scoring: we need guys to do the little things to win like we saw so much last week, too.”
The two-game showdown in Aberdeen begins Friday at 7:15 PM, with an identical start time Saturday.
Friday’s series opener 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 6:45 PM.
Pro-rated season tickets for the 2012-13 season are now on sale—and going fast! Call the Bobcat Hockey office today at (701) 222-3300 to reserve your seats for another great season of Championship Entertainment.