Bobcats to Close Regular Season with Must-Win Trio

BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats will wrap up the 2010-11 regular season with three games in three nights: the weekend starts with two home games Friday and Saturday against the Owatonna Express and then a Sunday contest on the road against the Alexandria Blizzard.

Trailing the Express (31-18-7, 69 pts) by five points, the Bobcats (30-21-4, 64 pts) must win out in order to gain home ice advantage in the opening round of the Central Division Playoffs.

“If we want home ice, the next three games are the most important of the season,” said Bobcats goalie Ryan Faragher. “It’s as simple as that.”

The Bobcats have been more successful against the Express than any other team in the Central Division, posting a sparkling 8-1-0 record against Owatonna, including eight straight wins—five of which have come at the Four Seasons Centre.

Despite being knocked out of contention for their third straight regular season division title, the Cats will have to dial up the magic vs. Owatonna two more times to stay in contention for second place and then take down a giant roadblock in the form of the Blizzard on Sunday.

Success for the Bobcats against Alexandria has been considerably more elusive: the Cats are 2-8-1 against the Blizzard and have dropped eight straight decisions in the battle of Interstate 94 (one in a shootout). By comparison, in 2009-10 the Bobcats posted a combined 15-1-0 record against the Blizzard in the regular season and playoffs.

“The key for us against Alexandria will be learning from our mistakes,” noted Bobcats head coach Layne Sedevie. “Almost every game in the series has been a good, close game and if we can overcome our problems from the past, we’ll be in good shape.”

With the short gap between the Bobcats and Express—and the Blizzard sitting between the two with 66 pts—all three teams involved in this weekend’s three-in-three can finish anywhere between second and fourth. Owatonna and Alexandria also still each have an outside shot at catching Coulee Region for first place.

The curtain raises on the climactic weekend Friday at 7:15 PM as the Express will play their second-last regular season game ever at the VFW Sports Center.

It was announced in February that the Express are relocating to Odessa, Tex., for 2011-12.

Friday’s contest will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide at Pre-game coverage will begin at 6:45 PM CT.

Season tickets are now on sale for the 2011-12 season! Call the Bobcat Hockey office at (701) 222-3300 or email for more information on reserving your seats for next season!