BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats will raise the curtain on the Central Division Finals Friday night as they host the Alexandria Blizzard for the second round of the 2010 Robertson Cup Playoffs at the VFW Sports Center.
The Bobcats advanced to the second round thanks to a three-game sweep of the Albert Lea Thunder in the divisional semifinals while the Blizzard moved on after rattling off three straight wins to rally for a 3-1 series win over the Owatonna Express.
In their 13-game season series, the Bobcats compiled an impressive mark of 12-1-0 against the Blizzard, including a mark of 7-0-0 at home against Alexandria.
Despite their regular season success against the Blizzard, the Bobcats aren’t looking past a solid Alexandria squad.
“The way we’re approaching is that we’re the team that went 1-12 and not the other way around,” said Bobcats forward Casey Kleisinger, who has a goal and three assists so far in the playoffs. “We can’t afford to come into this series and not match their hunger or their intensity, especially in a five-game series.”
“Our season series with Alexandria is probably one of the closest not-close series in the history of hockey, I’d say,” added Bobcats head coach Byron Pool. “Sure, we won 12 games but if you look at those games, six of them were one-goal games and only three were decided by more than two.
“These two teams are a lot closer than a 12-1 record would ever indicate.”
Both teams enter the second round on a special teams roll, with the Blizzard sporting the playoffs’ top power play at 41.2% (7-for-17) and the Bobcats right behind them at 33.3% (7-for-21). The ‘Cats also hold the top postseason penalty kill after negating all nine Albert Lea power plays in the opening round.
The series will also feature the top two playoff scorers; Alexandria’s Alex Altenbernd is tops with four goals and five assists and Bobcat forward Dominic Panetta one point off Altenbernd’s pace with three goals and seven assists.
The puck drops on Central Finals Friday at 7:15 PM at the VFW Sports Center with Game Two to follow Saturday, also at 7:15 PM. Before both games, the Bobcats will offer “Buck-Off Beers” to fans from 6:45 until the opening faceoff.
Additionally, the Bobcats will also be auctioning off another batch of their game-worn home and away jerseys from the season with a silent auction throughout Friday’s Game One.
Friday’s series lid-lifter 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.
Playoff tickets for the 2010 Robertson Cup Playoffs are available now for the Bobcats’ second-round series! You can reserve your postseason seats by calling the Bobcat Hockey Office at 701-222-3300, online at http://tickets.bismarckbobcats.com or by e-mailing the office for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.