Bobcats Eye Top Seed as Regular Season Concludes in Richfield
Matchup: Bismarck Bobcats (36-18-4, 1st Central) vs Minnesota Magicians (23-27-8, T-4th Central)
Games: Friday, April 8, 7:15pm; Saturday, April 9, 7:00m
Venue: Richfield Ice Arena, Richfield, Minn.
Season Series: Bobcats lead Magicians 5-1-0
All-Time: Bobcats lead Magicians 5-2-0
Radio: SuperTalk 1270 AM, SuperTalk1270.com and the radioPup smartphone app, 6:45pm Friday; 6:30pm Saturday
Internet TV: http://NAHL.FASTHockey.com, 6:45pm Friday; 6:30pm Saturday
RICHFIELD, MN – With the Central Division’s top seed in the upcoming Robertson Cup Playoffs still in play, the Bismarck Bobcats will close out the 2015-16 regular season with two games against the Minnesota Magicians at Richfield Ice Arena, starting Friday.
Coming into the last two games of the year, the Bobcats (36-18-4, 76 pts) lead Minot (34-18-6, 74 pts) by just two points for the top spot in the Central Division, which comes with home-ice advantage throughout the divisional rounds of the postseason. Minnesota (23-27-8, 54 pts), meanwhile, is tied with Brookings (24-28-6, 54 pts) for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central.
The two sides enter the weekend fresh off a pair of one-goal home wins by the Bobcats over the Magicians: 3-2 on Friday in a goal by Alex Strand with 1:38 left in regulation; 4-3 Saturday thanks to a Willie Brown overtime winner.
“When you play the Magicians, they make you earn everything,” credited Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, whose team has played four straight one-goal games against Minnesota. “They work so hard and have good speed and talent, so they’re never out of a game.
“On top of that, they’re right there for that last playoff spot so we expect to face a desperate team; our guys’ job will be to match [Minnesota’s] intensity for 60 minutes both nights.”
Winger Travis Wood had a hand in over half of the Bobcats’ seven goals last weekend, striking for two tallies and adding two assists for his biggest offensive performance since submitting a five-point (3g, 2a) week at the end of January.
Goalie Hunter Shepard holds a 33-11-3 record through a league-high 49 appearances to go with a 1.92 GAA and a .927 SV% in his second year in the NAHL.
Mid-season acquisition Michael Wilson had the hot hand for Minnesota against the Bobcats last weekend, scoring in each game for the visiting Magicians. Brady Heppner’s goal Saturday gave the second-year forward the franchise record in career goals with 25.
Magicians netminder Will Ulrich is 18-17-5 in his first NAHL season and is ranked third league-wide in saves with 1278.
Friday’s contest 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 6:45pm.
Tickets are now on sale for the Cats’ run in the 2016 Robertson Cup Playoffs and are already going fast! Fans can buy & print their playoff tickets at BismarckBobcats.com, by clicking “Shop Now” on the team Facebook page or charge-by-phone at 222-3300 during normal business hours.