Bobcats Set Out for Central-Opening Weekend
ONALASKA, WI – The Bismarck Bobcats will hit the road for a two-game weekend as they open their 2012-13 division schedule with a Friday contest against the Coulee Region Chill at the Omni Center before a Saturday showdown at Riverside Arena second-place Austin Bruins.
Fresh off a rare off-weekend, the Bobcats head to Onalaska where they look to halt a two-game losing skid that comes courtesy of the league-leading Wenatchee Wild.
“Our guys got a chance to get a little time off and recharge the batteries a little bit,” noted Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, “and it came at a welcome time, with how tough our schedule has been so far and some of the injuries that our guys are dealing with right now.”
Through eight games, the Bobcats have been troubled by a lack of offensive production—having not scored more than three goals in any game in September while being ranked second-last in the league with a power play efficiency of 6.67%—and costly turnovers on their way to a 3-5-0 record and a third-place division standing.
“We’ve had some mistakes that are common for teams so early in a season,” admitted Sedevie, “and a lot of them have ended up in the back of our net. This weekend we need to see a couple of things: first, which of our veterans will start executing like we expect them to; and second, who among our first year players—guys who haven’t gotten as much playing time yet, maybe—will step up and be a top line-caliber player for us.”
A stingy defense, allowing a mere 2.75 goals per game, and the strong goaltending of Bryan Nies, ranked 10th in the NAHL with a 2.17 GAA, have helped the Bobcats stay in striking distance of the first-place Brookings Blizzard.
The Chill sit one point behind the Cats in the standings and will be playing their first home game of 2012-13 on Friday, fresh off a two-game road split with the frontrunning Blizzard.
Coulee Region is led by a pair of veterans: second-year forward Mac Jansen (7 GP, 7 G, 4 A) and third-year netminder Aaron Davis (3.67 GAA, .883 SV%); while rookie Travis Underwood, a former high school teammate of Bobcat forward Patrick Moore, has eight points in seven games for the Chill.
Austin, who will be at Brookings Friday in a tilt of the top two teams in the Central, enters the weekend on a division-best three-game win streak. The Bruins boast the reigning Central Division Star of the Week in Chris Fischer following a four-point weekend in a two-game sweep of the Aberdeen Wings.
Saturday’s 7:05 PM tilt at Riverside Arena will be a rematch of the 2012 Central Division Finals, which the Bobcats claimed three-games-to-one in April, clinching the Central Cup in Austin with a 4-1 Game Four win.
The curtain raises on the Cats’ division schedule Friday with a 7:00 PM contest with the Chill.
Both Friday and Saturday’s games 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 a half hour before each contest.
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.