Red-Hot February Yields Goalie of the Month Honors for Roberts
FRISCO, TX — Anchoring a month of February that saw the Bismarck Bobcats surge from outside of the playoff picture to just two points out of second place, Bobcat goaltender John Roberts was named the North American Hockey League’s Goaltender of the Month on Tuesday.
“Winning Goalie of the Month means a lot to me personally but it speaks more for our team,” explained Roberts, a native of Lansdale, Pa. “All of our guys played unbelievably well in front of me and when it comes together like that it became easy for all of us to get on a roll.”
Over the course of eight appearances in February, Roberts posted a 6-1-1 record with two shutouts, a 1.85 GAA and a .937 SV% with 224 saves on 239 shots.
Roberts credited a full team effort and a focused approach to a successful month—a month which saw the Cats stage an eight-point turnaround in the standings to flip a four-point deficit for a playoff spot into a four-point lead (that has since grown to eight) for fourth place.
“I think our team really played well defensively and tightened things up in February. We were on the outside looking in of the playoff picture and I think we all made a conscious effort to really start focusing on playing better hockey. I think everyone stepped up during the month because we all want this season to continue well into the playoffs,” Roberts told NAHL.com. “I think getting the NCAA commitment to Northern Michigan has really allowed me to focus just on hockey. I want to help my team and teammates as much as I can and hopefully see many of them realize their NCAA commitment dreams. I think we are capable of making a run in the playoffs, so we just have to keep playing well and see what happens.”
In his second season with the Bobcats, Roberts is third in the NAHL with 23 wins and tied for the league lead with five shutouts to go with a 2.56 GAA and a .922 SV%.
“John is led by his work ethic and character,” credited Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie of the third-year NAHL veteran backstop. “Every night he’s in the net, he gives his team a chance to win the game. That’s why he’s a leader on and off the ice for us and will be a very good goaltender at the next level.”
Joining Roberts on the league’s monthly honor roll were Daniel Chladek and Nicolas Appendino, who earned honorable mentions for Forward and Defenseman of the Month, respectively.
Roberts’ win is the third monthly award earned by the Cats this season, following Sam Malinski securing Defenseman of the Month in October and Austin Jouppi becoming Forward of the Month for December.
A busy month of March continues for the Bobcats with the final two meetings of the 2018-19 Subway ND Cup against the Minot Minotauros starting Wednesday with a 7:05pm meeting at Maysa Arena before the teams meet for the final time in the regular season on Saturday at the VFW Sports Center at 7:15pm.
Fans can buy and print tickets for Saturday’s pivotal clash at BismarckBobcats.com or by clicking “Shop Now” on the Bobcats’ Facebook page.
Live coverage of both games will start 30 minutes prior to puck drop on Super Talk 1270, the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, and with premium video at HockeyTV.com, the official web television partner of the NAHL.