Bobcats Set to Face Wildcats in National Semifinals
Matchup: Bismarck Bobcats (37-19-4, 1st Central) vs Wichita Falls Wildcats (44-11-5, 1st South)
Games: Thursday, May 12, 7:30pm; Friday, May 13, 7:30pm; Saturday, May 14, 6:00pm (if necessary)
Venue: Braemar Arena, Edina, Minn.
Series: Series tied 0-0
Regular Season Series: Bobcats and Wildcats did not meet
All-Time: Wildcats lead Bobcats 3-1-0 (0-0 in playoffs)
Radio: SuperTalk 1270 AM, SuperTalk1270.com and the radioPup smartphone app, 7:00pm Thursday and Friday; 5:30pm Saturday
Internet TV: http://NAHL.FASTHockey.com, 7:00pm Thursday and Friday; 5:30pm Saturday
EDINA, MN – Fresh off a decisive Game Five victory in the Central Division Finals, the Bismarck Bobcats will open the best-of-three-game Robertson Cup Semifinals Thursday when they face the South Division champion Wichita Falls Wildcats at Braemar Arena.
The Bobcats come into Thursday’s Game One on just three days of rest after finishing the divisional final round on Monday night at home; by contrast, Wichita Falls wrapped up the South Division Finals a full week earlier with a three-games-to-none sweep over Topeka.
“We can’t be too worried about how our [division final] series went five games or how long Wichita Falls has been off or anything like that; we can only control what we can control,” stated Bobcat goalie Hunter Shepard, in his second NAHL playoff run, “and what we can control is preparing well and playing a full 60-minute game each night.”
Among the best-playing Bobcats in the 2016 postseason are Aaron Herdt, whose five goals are tied for the most in the playoffs, and Willie Brown, the playoffs’ top assist man with 10.
Shepard used Monday’s 4-0 win over Austin to improve his playoff GAA to 1.98 to go with his .929 SV%.
“It’s been five seasons since we’ve seen Wichita Falls—and that was at the Showcase—so we’ve been going over as much film of the Wildcats as possible for the past two days,” explained Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie. “Film can only take you so far against a team with talented players like Justin Kapelmaster, Austin Beaulieu, Austin Albrecht and Adam Goodsir, however; our guys need to be on their game and need to execute if we want to beat such a talented team.”
Beaulieu, a second-year forward for the Wildcats, has been the league’s hottest player in the postseason, posting four goals and eight assists in just six games for a playoff-best 2.00 points per game, while Albrecht and Aleksi Poikola are among those tied with the Bobcats’ Herdt for the most playoff tallies at five.
At 6-0, Wichita Falls netminder Justin Kapelmaster is one of only two keepers who are undefeated in the playoffs (Darion Hanson, Aston, 5-0); the first-year Wildcat has also posted impressive per-game postseason stats with a 1.83 GAA and a .945 SV%.
Thursday’s series lidlifter will be broadcast live 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—with pregame coverage starting at 7:00pm.
Tickets are now on sale for the Cats’ run in the 2016 Robertson Cup Playoffs and are already going fast! Lock in yours for the entire playoff run by signing up for 2016-17 season tickets today.