BISMARCK, ND – With the Central Division regular season title within their grasp, the Bismarck Bobcats host the Alexandria Blizzard for the final time during the 2009-10 season for a two game series starting Friday night at the VFW Sports Center.
Coming into the weekend, the 32-10-8 (72 pts) Bobcats sit three points away from closing out second-place Owatonna (29-19-4, 62 pts) to wrap up home ice through the divisional playoffs for the second straight season.
“Sure, we know where we’re at in the standings and of course we want to wrap up home ice in the playoffs,” said Bobcats center Casey Kleisinger, “but the most important thing is winning the games against the Blizzard this weekend. We can’t get too happy with where we are in the standings; if we win, everything else will take care of itself.”
The weekend set will finish out the 13-game season series between the two sides, which the Bobcats currently lead, sporting a 10-1-0 record against the Blizzard so far this year.
Bobcats head coach Byron Pool cautioned that his team’s success against Alexandria isn’t indicative of the Blizzard’s skill.
“We’re 10-1 against Alexandria right now but if you look at the games, outside of that 6-0 win [on January 16th], they’ve all been within two goals,” said Pool. “They’ve been a talented team with great goaltending all year, but now they’ve gone out and picked up a guy like Nardo Nagtzaam from the Alaska Avalanche, making them even more dangerous down the stretch.”
Since coming to the Blizzard at the trade deadline, Nagtzaam has rolled up 9 goals in 16 assists in 14 games in an Alexandria uniform, including an assist against the Bobcats when the two sides met up on February 6th, a 4-2 Bobcats win. He is one of three Blizzard players, along with linemates Kyle Clay (18-33-51) and Steve Zierke (16-26-42) over the 40-point mark on the year.
For the Bobcats, four players sit at 40 points or more: Jason Fabian leads the way with 20 goals and 33 assists; Kleisinger has 18-28-46; Dominic Panetta has 21 goals and 24 assists and leading goal scorer Ryan Jacobson is at 24-19-43.
Coming off a 7-0 blanking of Albert Lea, Bobcat netminder Ryan Faragher is second in the league with four shutouts to go with a 20-5-7 record, a 2.13 GAA and a .920 SV%.
The puck drops on the two-game series at 7:15 PM on Friday at the VFW Sports Center; fans are encouraged to show up early as the team will be offering “Buck-Off Beers” from 6:45 PM until the opening face-off.
Friday’s 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 6:45 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.