BISMARCK, N.D.–The 26th season in the Bismarck Bobcats’ storied history officially begins on September 14 in Blaine, Minn. The team’s three weeks of preparation is well underway at the VFW Sports Center.
The Bobcats welcomed their preseason roster of 33 to Bismarck on Sunday, August 21. Since then, the group has undergone workouts and testing at Sanford POWER, as well as practice time on the ice.
“I am excited to get back,” said Layne Sedevie, the Bobcats’ head coach and general manager. “We have a really good group of guys back who made a great run at the end of last year, and some new faces too.”
The 2021-22 season was unforgettable to all who were a part of it. A Bobcat group with only three wins in their first 17 games rallied to qualify for the playoffs on the final day of the year. The team ran out of gas at the end, though, losing in the first round to St. Cloud in five games.
“It was by far the worst experience I have had and the best I have had,” said Sedevie, who enters his 13th season as head coach. “To me, it was even better than winning central division championships and playing for a Robertson Cup. What that group did meant the world to this organization.”
Sedevie, a Bismarck native, saw Bobcat fans and the city rally around the team throughout their incredible push to the postseason. Patrick Johnson and Nico Chmelevski, both third-year Bobcats who will represent the organization as co-captains, experienced it too.
“I love it here,” Johnson said. “I love the town of Bismarck. It is awesome, just fun to find all the knicks and knacks in the town. You can not really complain when you are spending every single day with your best friends and playing the game you love.”
Johnson, a captain last year who scored 16 goals, is joined by Chmelevski. Nico enters his final season of junior hockey eligibility.
“With the run we made (last year) everyone is really excited going into this year,” Chmelevski said. “All the returners want to do well. We do not want to just get knocked out in the first round. We want to be champions, and everyone is dialed in for that.”
Individually, Chmelevski hopes to also pick up a logo next to his name. The Bobcats continued their outstanding track record in finding players homes at the collegiate level, with all five 2001-born players committing to play Division I hockey.
“(The NAHL) is a great league and colleges are all over it,” Sedevie said. “I think it is only going to continue to grow that way. To have all the ’01s (commit), that is the best part of last year.”
With the month of September underway, fans do not have to wait long to catch the Bobcats on the ice. The team will have a total of four dates in their preseason schedule, all of which are open to the public. See below for our schedule, and stay tuned to social media for broadcast information as it becomes available.
Saturday, September 3, 7:00 PM at VFW Sports Center – Intersquad scrimmage
Tuesday, September 6, 12:00 PM at Wachter Ice Arena – Scrimmage against Aberdeen Wings
Friday, September 9, 8:15 PM at Rough Rider Center in Watford City – Preseason game against Minot Minotauros
Saturday, September 10, 7:05 PM at Rough Rider Center in Watford City – Preseason game against Minot Minotauros