Five-Game Home Set Wraps with Rivalry Trio
BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats will close out their season-high five-game homestand with a three-game weekend, first hosting the Minot Minotauros for a special Thursday game before welcoming the archrival Aberdeen Wings for their final two meetings of the season Friday and Saturday at the VFW Sports Center.
Thursday’s contest is a make-up date for the February 2 game that was postponed due to hazardous travel conditions. The original tickets purchased for the February 2 game will be honored at the door on Thursday, so fans with their tickets from a month ago do not need to trade in or purchase new tickets.
Leading third-place Brookings (28-21-5, 61 pts) by six points for home-ice advantage in the opening round of the 2013 Robertson Cup Playoffs, the Bobcats’ (30-16-7, 67 pts) magic number—any points they gain plus points lost by Brookings in the standings—for second place is down to seven heading into the weekend.
“We have a chance to guarantee at least a tie for second this weekend,” explained Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, whose team has six points available over the next three nights. “But we have to go through a couple of really tough opponents with great goalies if we want to keep controlling our own destiny for home ice.”
Minot makes their penultimate trip to the capital city for the regular season just four days after the Bobcats pulled away from the Tauros for a 5-1 win at the VFW. Through nine meetings the Cats sport a 5-3-1 record against their in-state foes.
It will be “Thirsty Thursday” for the Bobcats-Tauros game, with 2-for-1 beers from 6:30 until beer sales conclude for the night.
Starting Friday, the Wings invade the VFW Sports Center for the final two meetings of the Titan Machinery Dakota Cup for the 2012-13 season. Aberdeen enters the weekend holding onto distant playoff hopes, though only one scenario exists for the Wings to reach their second straight postseason: Aberdeen must win their seven remaining games while Minot must lose their last seven contests—all in regulation.
Even though the Bobcats have long since clinched the Dakota Cup over the Wings, currently sporting a 17-6 edge in the series standings with just two games left, the black and gold still have a bad taste in their mouths from a 2-1 shootout defeat suffered the last time the two teams met on February 16 in Aberdeen.
“The last time we saw [the Wings] I think we played a pretty good game but couldn’t bury,” stated Bobcats forward Stanislav Dzakhov, who has racked up 15 points on nine goals and six assists in 22 games with the Cats. “We had chances but didn’t put it in the net and it cost us on the road. We need to be stronger on the puck and score more on our chances.”
Aberdeen rides into town as the hottest team in the Central Division—and third-hottest team league-wide—having won seven of their last 10 games and three straight overall. Since announcing Travis Winter as head coach on January 14, the Wings have put together a 9-5-3 run and are 9-3-1 in their last 13.
Saturday’s contest between the Bobcats and Wings will be the Cats’ fourth annual St. Baldrick’s Night, where Bobcat Hockey partners with Basin Electric Power Company and the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to raise money to fight childhood cancer.
For the March 16 game, the Bobcats will don special edition green St. Baldrick’s jerseys that will be auctioned off after the game. Seven members of the Bobcat organization will also have their heads shaved to help raise awareness for childhood cancer: captain Adam Knochenmus, assistant captain Jeremy O’Keefe, forward Shane Omdahl, defenseman Chris Diver, forward forward Evan Giesler, Sedevie and director of broadcasting Paul Teeple.
Knochenmus also plans to donate his hair to charity following the event.
“It’s a great feeling to know that we’re out there doing what we can to help these kids who are stricken by this horrible disease,” said Knochenmus, the Cats’ leading scorer. “I was so impressed and moved by our St. Baldrick’s event last year that I’ve been growing my hair to shave and donate at this year’s event to help these brave, awesome kids.”
Tickets for all three games of the rivalry weekend are on sale right now by calling the box office at 222-3300 or buying and printing tickets online at www.BismarckBobcats.com.
Thursday’s intrastate showdown with the Tauros 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 6:45 PM.
Bobcat fans can get 2013 Playoff Priority if they reserve 2013-14 season tickets today! Call the Bobcat Hockey office at (701) 222-3300 to reserve your seats for another year Championship Entertainment and get first crack at seats in the 2013 Robertson Cup Playoffs.