BISMARCK, ND – A second consecutive division title, a team-record 12 NCAA Division I commitments and, of course, a national championship were the hallmarks of the 2009-10 Bismarck Bobcats season—a season that has earned them the title of 2010 Non-School Team of the Year as awarded by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
“There are a lot of great organizations across the state, so it is certainly wonderful to be named Team of the Year by the NDAPSSA,” said Bobcats team owner Thom Brigl. “There couldn’t be a more fitting name than ‘Team of the Year,’ either, because it took a team of players, coaches, staff, volunteers, sponsors and fans to create a championship season that put us in a position to be honored like this.”
The award marks the first time the NDAPSSA has bestowed the honor of Team of the Year on Bobcat Hockey.
The year, of course, didn’t start out so promisingly for the ‘Cats, as they struggled to an 0-5-2 start to the 2009-10 campaign before finally collecting their first win, 6-4 over the Alaska Avalanche, on October 4th. Following the first win, the Bobcats rattled off a 38-6-6 mark to finish the season with their second straight Central Division title and a top playoff seed.
In the postseason, the Cats continued their winning ways, sweeping both the Albert Lea Thunder and Alexandria Blizzard three games to none to return to the Robertson Cup Tournament. At Nationals, the Bobcats made the title game with a 2-2 round robin record and shut out the Fairbanks Ice Dogs 3-0 in the finals to claim their first-ever Robertson Cup as champions of the NAHL.
The Bobcats did just as well off the ice as they did on the ice, doubling the team record for NCAA Division I scholarships with twelve players committed to D-I programs: Jason Fabian (Air Force), Casey Kleisinger (Air Force), Aaron Quick (Air Force), Ryan Jacobson (Air Force), Dominic Panetta (Ferris State), Gavin Hartzog (Wisconsin), Tom McCarthy (Merrimack), Ryan Faragher (Dartmouth), Sam Rendle (Bemidji State), Ben Danford (Canisius), Tony Turgeon (alumnus, Nebraska-Omaha) and Blake Hietala (alumnus, Michigan Tech). The previous team high for D-I commits was six, set in 2008-09.
In addition to their college commitments, the Bobcats also excelled in the arena of community service, continuing its “Healthy Habits” program in local schools as well as teaming up over the course of the season with the American Cancer Society, St. Baldrick’s, St. Patrick’s Church of Mandan, local youth hockey organizations and dozens of other local and national organizations to give back to the community that has so greatly supported Bobcat Hockey over the years.
The Bobcats’ busy offseason continues on July 9th as they hold their third open tryout camp at Seven Bridges Arena in Woodridge, IL. The ‘Cats will also be holding an open camp in Canton, MI (July 16-18).
For more information on Bobcat Hockey tryout camps, log on to http:///www.BismarckBobcats.com.
Bobcat Hockey would like to once again thank all of its fans, staff and sponsors for a wonderful 2009-2010 season. Thanks for being part of the team—we couldn’t be champions without you!
2010 ROBERTSON CUP CHAMPIONS