Sprint to Finish Begins as Bobcats Host Magicians
Matchup: Bismarck Bobcats (34-18-4, 1st Central) vs Minnesota Magicians (23-26-7, T-4th Central)
Games: Friday, April 1, 7:15pm; Saturday, April 2, 7:15pm
Venue: VFW Sports Center, Bismarck, N.D.
Season Series: Bobcats lead Magicians 3-1-0
All-Time: Bobcats lead Magicians 3-2-0
Radio: SuperTalk 1270 AM, SuperTalk1270.com and the radioPup smartphone app, 6:45pm both nights
Internet TV: http://NAHL.FASTHockey.com, 6:45pm both nights
BISMARCK, ND – With no playoff seeds yet decided and no teams in the Central Division eliminated from postseason contention, the Bismarck Bobcats will hurtle into the final nine days of the 2015-16 regular season Friday when they open a two-game series against the Minnesota Magicians at the VFW Sports Center.
Friday and Saturday mark the final regular season home games of 2015-16 for the Cats.
Having earned a 3-2-3 mark in a punishing 16-day stretch to close out March, the Bobcats (34-18-4, 72 pts) managed to maintain a one-point lead over Minot (33-18-5, 71 pts) for the top spot in the Central. Minnesota (23-26-7, 53 pts), meanwhile, sits tied with Aberdeen (21-24-11, 53 pts) for the division’s fourth and final playoff spot. All six Central Division teams have four games remaining.
“We want to win the division; the Magicians want to hang onto number four—it’s fair to say that the playoffs start for both teams Friday,” asserted second-year center Aaron Herdt, who leads the Bobcats with 49 points (19g, 30a) on the season. “We’re going to have to match [Minnesota’s] intensity, though: we know we’re already in the playoffs but their entire season is on the line.”
Though the Cats’ defense continues to sit near the top of the league—allowing 2.20 goals per game, the second-fewest in the NAHL so far—the offense is a point of emphasis for the black and gold heading into their last home games before the postseason.
“To get the scoring going, we need to get simple: limit turnovers, get shots to the net, create traffic, find rebounds—all the little things we haven’t taken care of lately,” surmised Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, whose offense is still a top-10 unit at 3.09 goals per game. “You look at Friday [a 4-0 win over Brookings] and you see how simple plays and greasy goals created some confidence.
“Now we need to do that consistently.”
Minnesota comes to town having won three of their last four, including taking both games last weekend against third-place Austin and red-hot Coulee Region.
Forward Pierce Crawford has been on a tear for the Magicians, racking up five goals and five assists in his last five games to help Minnesota squeeze ahead in the race for the division’s last playoff berth. He is the reigning Central Division Player of the Week thanks to a four-point week (2g, 2a) against Austin and Coulee Region.
Tickets are now on sale for the Cats’ final two home games: fans can buy and print tickets online 24 hours a day at BismarckBobcats.com, by clicking “Shop Now” on the team Facebook page or charge-by-phone during normal business hours at 222-3300.
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.
Now that the Bobcats are in the playoffs, now is the time to reserve your 2016-17 season tickets! All new season ticket buyers will receive Playoff Priority for the Cats’ 2016 Robertson Cup Playoff. Fans can call 222-3300 to reserve their seats and get Playoff Priority.