BISMARCK, ND– With only six games left in the regular season, the Bismarck Bobcats look to keep home-ice hopes alive this weekend as they split a home-and-home with the Minot Minotauros.
Friday night’s game takes place at the Maysa in Minot. Saturday’s contest moves to the VFW Sports Center, one of three home games left for the Bobcats.
Bismarck (29-21-4) stands at 62 points in the NAHL Central Division standings, six points behind second-place Aberdeen, and nine away from the first-place Austin Bruins. Austin and the Bobcats meet for eight points in four straight games at the end of the season.
Minot (21-30-3) is hungry, with 45 points in the standings, six ahead of Brookings for the final playoff spot. Minot and Brookings meet in four straight games at the end of the season.
The season series between the Bobcats and Minotauros has been hotly contested, with the Bobcats 6-2-2 overall. Bismarck has won the last two games during a weekend sweep February 7th and 8th.
Cullen Willox (Eagen, MN) and Filip Starzynski (Warsaw, Poland) lead the Bobcats in the series, with 11 points each. Bobcat netminder Aaron Nelson (Bismarck, ND) has performed well in the series, with a 1.72 goals against average, a half-goal better than his season percentage.
Colton Kramer and Tyler Shipstad co-lead the Minotauros against the Bobcats, with six points each. As a team, Miont allows only 2.62 goals per game, but the Bobcats have hit both Minotauor backstoppers, Brandon Wildung (2.92) and Merrick Madsen (3.66) at a higher rate this season.
Saturday night, the Bobcats and rival Aberdeen Wings come together in a special effort to benefit former Wing player Zach Kraft. Kraft has been diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer.
Bobcats Nelson, Starzynski, Huba Sekesi, and Stan Dzakhov, along with Wings Dillon Eichstadt, Jake Horton, and John Grebosky, will raffle off the jerseys they received in the NAHL Top Prospects tournament. The funds will benefit Kraft for expenses occurred in his treatment.
Friday night’s game will begin at 7:35 p.m. at the Maysa in Minot. Saturday’s game at the VFW Sports Center is slated for a 7:15 p.m. start.
Tickets for Saturday’s game are available at 222-3300 or online at www.bismarckbobcats.com.