Bobcats Renew Minot Rivalry with Home-and-Home

BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats take on their in-state rivals, the Minot Minotauros, for the first time in 2013 when they play a two-night, home-and-home series with their neighbors to the north Friday and Saturday nights.

Friday’s contest at Maysa Arena will wrap the Cats’ current four-game road swing in a building where they are 1-2-0 so far in 2012-13.

“If we want to be able to go into [the Tauros’] barn on Friday and have a chance to win, we need to be able to match their intensity,” offered Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, whose squad is 3-2-1 overall in the season series. “Minot is big and physical and can take you off your game; we need to be just as physical and hard-working.”

In their last game at the Maysa, the Bobcats had their worst period of 2012-13 to start the game, coughing up four goals in the opening frame en route to a 5-1 loss.

Since that visit to Minot, the Bobcats have locked down defensively: surrendering a mere 20 goals in their last 12 games, a span in which they are 9-2-1.

Up front, the Bobcats struggled to a 2.38 goals per game average in January while the power play scored just four times in 32 opportunities.

According to veteran forward Joe Giordano, turning around the scoring output with the man advantage comes down to a simple concept.

“One word that we, as players, have used this week to improving the power play is ‘urgency,’” stated Giordano, who sits third on the team in scoring with 27 points on nine goals and 18 assists. “Urgency means working hard, winning races to pucks, moving the puck around quickly and doing what it takes to get into the right areas to score.”

Both the Bobcats (24-14-3, 51 pts) and Minotauros (21-18-3, 45 pts) are in the thick of the race for home ice advantage in the Central Division Playoffs, along with the Brookings Blizzard (23-15-2, 48 pts), in which just six points separate second place from fourth place.

“We know Minot and Brookings are right there for home ice and we still have a shot at catching Austin for first place,” indicated Bobcat defender Nate Repensky, who tallied Saturday’s game-winner in overtime at Aberdeen. “And with Austin and Brookings playing each other this weekend, every point against Minot becomes all the more important.”

Following Friday’s 8:05 PM contest at Maysa Arena, the Cats and Tauros have a 7:15 PM rematch at the VFW Sports Center Saturday. Starting with Saturday’s matchup, the Bobcats will close the season with 11 of their last 18 games at home, where they are currently 12-4-2.

Tickets for Saturday’s game are on sale by calling the Bobcat Box Office at 222-3300; fans can buy and print tickets online right now at BismarckBobcats.com.

Friday’s intrastate showdown will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide on the official internet television partner of the NAHL, FASTHockey, at http://nahl.fasthockey.com.  Pregame coverage gets under way at 7:40 PM.

Pro-rated season tickets for the 2012-13 season are now on sale—and going fast! Call the Bobcat Hockey office today at (701) 222-3300 to reserve your seats for another great season of Championship Entertainment.