AUSTIN, MN — The Bismarck Bobcats will strike out on a three-game road swing this weekend, with games against the Austin Bruins and Coulee Region Chill, to try and snap their season-high four-game losing streak.
The skid–the longest the franchise has experienced since starting the 2009-10 season 0-5-2–has caused the Bobcats (20-10-3, 43 pts) to slide all the way from first place to third behind the red-hot Owatonna Express (21-12-4, 46 pts) and the Chill (20-11-4, 44 pts).
Despite the dip in the standings, the team's spirits are high as the road trip opens.
"The mood is pretty loose, actually," noted Bobcats defenseman Danny Ray. "There's nothing we can do about the losses now–all we can do is learn from them and get better. We're excited for the challenge of the Bruins and the Chill this weekend."
The three-games-in-three-nights swing opens with a two-game series Friday and Saturday night at Riverside Arena against a hard-nosed Bruins squad that has put together a pair of consecutive wins to pull within two points of fifth-place Aberdeen.
Austin, whose 734 penalty minutes lead the Central Division, presents a big change of pace for the Bobcats from the high-octane but light-checking Alexandria Blizzard.
Not everyone in black and gold thinks the jump in opposition styles is all bad.
"We feel like we've gotten away from our physical game too much lately," admitted blueliner Dalton Spicer, who has battled through a broken hand suffered the last time the Cats tangled with the Bruins in December. "The Bruins hit hard and make you earn it physically so I think playing a hard-nosed team like that could be a good thing; we'll have to turn up our checking to match them."
Following the two-game set in Austin, the Cats head to Onalaska, Wis., for the first time to take on the Chill at the Omni Center in a special 6:00 PM Sunday start.
Sunday's matchup will feature two of the top goaltenders in the Central Division in the Bobcats' Ryan Faragher and the Chill's Paul Moberg–teammates on Team Weight at the 2010 Top Prospects Tournament.
Faragher leads the Central Division with a 2.22 GAA while Moberg is third in the division with a 3.03 mark.
The puck drops on three-game weekend Friday in Austin with a 7:05 PM start between the Cats and the Bruins.
Friday’s road contest will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide at http://nahl.fasthockey.com/. As with all away games during the 2010-11 season, fans are encouraged to view the game at aReza’s Pitch—the official away game Home of the Bobcats—at the corner of Third and Front in Bismarck. Pre-game coverage will begin at 7:05 PM CT.
Season tickets are now on sale for the 2010-11 season! Call the Bobcat Hockey office at (701) 222-3300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on reserving your seats for the entire season as the Bobcats look to defend the Robertson Cup!
2010 ROBERTSON CUP CHAMPIONS