BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats are set for a Central Division showdown as they prepare to host the second-place Owatonna Express for a two-game series starting Thursday night at the VFW Sports Center.
Only nine points separate the divisional rivals for first place with 14 games remaining for both the Bobcats and Express in the 2009-10 regular season.
“For the first time since the beginning of the season, Owatonna doesn’t have any games in hand over us,” said Bobcats head coach Byron Pool, “so it’s a sprint to the finish. This series could definitively swing the race for the #1 seed in the division; our lead could be as big as 13 points or as small as five by the end of Friday night.”
The season series between the Bobcats and the Express has been very even, with both teams winning four of the eight games; the Bobcats have a slight advantage in points in the series because three of their losses came in overtime (4-1-3).
It will be just the second visit to the VFW for the Express this season; the Bobcats split a two-game home set with Owatonna in early January, winning 3-1 and falling 3-2 in overtime.
Owatonna enters the weekend on a three-game winning streak, fresh off a two-game sweep of the North Iowa Outlaws that saw the Express defeat the Outlaws by a combined score of 13-0.
The Bobcats have a winning streak of their own—currently standing at six straight victories—dating back to their January 16th 6-0 win over Alexandria.
For the ‘Cats, Jason Fabian leads the charge offensively with 18 goals and 30 assists along with Dom Panetta’s 40 points (19-21-40); Ryan Faragher anchors the home side in net with a 18-5-6 record, a 2.22 GAA and a .917 SV%.
Cory Thorson is the Express’ top scorer with 19 goals and 25 assists while Christmastime acquisition Matt Hemingway has become Owatonna’s top netminder at 6-4-1 with a 2.33 GAA and a .923 SV%.
Thursday’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.