ALBERT LEA, MN – The Bismarck Bobcats are on the road for the last time in 2009 as they head south to take on the Albert Lea Thunder for a two-game series at the Albert Lea Arena this weekend.
In three games this season, the Bobcats are 2-0-1 against the Thunder—both wins being shutouts of the last-place Thunder.
The Thunder, however, come into the weekend having won two of their last three games against second-place Owatonna and third-place North Iowa, and the Bobcats have taken notice of the resurgent Albert Lea side.
“Albert Lea is becoming a very dangerous team right now,” said Bobcats forward Dominic Panetta, “because you know that you’re in for a physical grind whenever you play them and now they’re starting to put a lot of pucks in the net.”
Thanks to the recent run of victories, the Thunder (6-18-2, 14 pts) have pulled to within one point of fourth-place Alexandria (6-13-3, 15 pts) for the Central Division’s final playoff spot.
The Bobcats have put together a run of their own, going 16 straight games with at least one point in the standings—compiling a 12-0-4 mark since their October 16th loss at Owatonna to vault into sole possession of first place in the Central.
“We’re really happy to be in first place right now,” said Bobcats assistant coach Layne Sedevie, “especially with how many road games we’ve played already, but everybody realizes that we have so much room left to grow as a team. We’re going to get a good measuring stick this weekend for how we’re progressing, taking on a hot team for two games in their own barn.”
Bismarck has played 21 of their first 28 games away from home this season, but the two-game set in Albert Lea marks their last away games of 2009.
The Bobcats are led offensively by Air Force recruit Jason Fabian’s 13 goals and 15 assists, which tie him for 9th in scoring in the NAHL. In net, Ryan Faragher (9-3-5) leads all goalies league-wide with a 1.86 GAA.
Former Bobcat Niko Kapetanovic leads the charge up front for the Thunder with nine goals and seven assists; Ben Waalkens anchors the Thunder between the pipes with a 2-9-0 record and a 3.85 GAA.
The series opens with a 7:30 PM contest Friday at the Albert Lea Arena.
The game will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide at BismarckBobcats.com via B2 Networks. The pre-game show starts at 7:00 PM.
You won\’t want to miss any of the games this season, so order your Season Tickets, Family Packs and Group Nights today by calling the Bobcat Hockey Office at 701-222-3300 or by e-mailing the office for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.