Alumni Rundown: Five Alums Headed to Big Dance
BOSTON, MA – The field for the 2015 NCAA Tournament is set and five former Bismarck Bobcat players have advanced to this weekend’s round of 16.
For the third straight season, 2009-10 blueliner Alex Barron and the Quinnipiac Bobcats are back in the tournament field. As a sophomore, Barron was a part of a QU squad that made it all the way to the national finals, where they would eventually fall to Yale. Quinnipiac enters as the fourth seed in the West Regional and will open against top-seeded North Dakota Friday at Scheels Arena in Fargo.
Joining Quinnipiac in Fargo will be 2007-08 Cats forward Blake Hietala and the Michigan Tech Huskies. In his senior season, Hietala has notched five goals and nine assists to help the Huskies to their first NCAA Tournament since 1981; Michigan Tech will open the tournament against third-seeded St. Cloud State Friday.
Reigning NAHL Defenseman of the Year Nate Repensky will make the NCAA Tournament as a freshman with Yale University, the fourth seed in the East Regional where they will face Hockey East champ Boston University. Since returning from the injury he suffered in his final regular season appearance with the Bobcats nearly one year ago, Repensky has piled up 13 points (2g, 11a) in 27 games to become the Bulldogs’ top newcomer in terms of points per game.
The top two seeds in the Midwest Region feature former Bobcat goalies: Nebraska-Omaha’s Ryan Massa (2009-10) and Minnesota State-Mankato’s Aaron Nelson (2011-14). As a senior, Massa has emerged from a muddled goaltending situation as UNO’s clear-cut number one with a GAA of 2.04 and the fifth-best SV% in the country at .934.
Nelson and MSU-Mankato enter the tournament as the top seed overall.
Back in the NAHL, the Bobcats will wrap up their regular season with a pair of rivalry clashes against the Minot Minotauros at the VFW Sports Center on Friday and Saturday.
Tickets are on sale now for the hottest rivalry in the Central Division: fans can buy and print tickets for Friday and Saturday 24 hours a day at BismarckBobcats.com or charge by phone at 222-3300.
Live coverage of Friday’s intrastate throwdown will begin 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.
Stay tuned to BismarckBobcats.com this week for 2015 Robertson Cup Playoff ticket information!