Bobcat Weekend Preview: Cats Welcome Brown Bears for Second Time Ever
Matchups: Bismarck Bobcats (26-22-2, 3rd Central) vs. Kenai River Brown Bears (14-36-2, 5th Midwest)
Games: Friday, March 6, 7:15pm; Saturday, March 7, 7:15pm
Place: VFW Sports Center, Bismarck, N.D.
This Year: Series tied 1-1-0
All-Time: Series tied 4-3-1
Radio: SuperTalk 1270 AM, 6:45pm both nights
Internet TV: http://NAHL.FASTHockey.com, 6:45pm both nights
BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats will host the Kenai River Brown Bears at the VFW Sports Center for the first time since October 2007 as they continue their late-season home stand with a pair of interdivision games Friday and Saturday.
Both sides enter Friday with major playoff implications in play: the Bobcats sit eight points—either won by the black and gold or lost by Brookings—away from clinching their seventh consecutive berth in the Central Division’s Robertson Cup Playoff bracket, while the Brown Bears trail the Minnesota Magicians by nine points for the final playoff spot in the Midwest Division.
In October, the Cats and Bears split two games at the Soldotna Sports Center: the Cats claimed the first meeting 4-1 before falling 5-2 the next night to chop their third-ever visit to the Kenai Peninsula.
Brown Bears forward Jack Gessert—who scored three times in the teams’ October duels—led Kenai River’s charge in February with four goals and four assists in eight appearances to pull into a third-place tie league-wide in goals scored, along with Bobcat co-captain Evan Giesler and Fairbanks’ Ethan Somoza.
Rookie Jared Pike has carried the Cats’ offensive torch over the last four weeks, scoring six goals to lead the Bobcats with six points in February.
Blueliner Cole Souto, Pike’s L.A. Jr. Kings teammate, also posted six points over the past month (1g, 5a) to share the Cats’ February lead along with a team-best plus-7 rating in that time span.
Despite a 2-2-1 record in his last five starts, Bobcat goalie Alex Bitsakis has rounded back into his early season form with a .917 SV%, a 2.64 GAA and a shutout in that span to keep the Cats pushing toward a postseason berth.
Tickets are now on sale for the Bobcats' weekend clashes with Kenai River: fans can buy and print tickets 24 hours a day at BismarckBobcats.com or charge by phone at 222-3300.
Live coverage of Friday’s weekend opener will start at 6:45pm locally on SuperTalk 1270, KLXX-AM, the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, and worldwide online at NAHL.FASTHockey.com, the official web television partner of the North American Hockey League.
Though the 2014-15 season is entering its home stretch, pro-rated season tickets are still available for the last run of home games; fans who want to lock in their seats for the remainder of the campaign should call the Bobcat office at 222-3300 today!