Bobcats Back Home as Central Finals Resume
BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats return to the VFW Sports Center as the Central Division Finals roll on for Game Three and Game Four of the second-round series in the 2013 Robertson Cup Playoffs Friday and Saturday, respectively.
With the series tied 1-1, a trip to the Robertson Cup Tournament in Frisco, Tex., will be on the line in Saturday’s game for one of the two teams.
“Our team has a history of winning division and league championships, so that’s definitely on our minds,” stated second-year forward Patrick Moore on the team’s four Central Division titles, two Borne Cups and 2010 Robertson Cup, “but at the same time, we’re the number two seed, they’re number one, so that pressure isn’t on us this time.”
Both teams will battle for the right to join the Amarillo Bulls, who won the South Division Tuesday, and the winners of the North and West Divisions at Dr. Pepper Arena next weekend to play for the Robertson Cup, North America’s oldest junior hockey trophy.
Regardless of the outcome Friday and Saturday, it will be the final weekend of home games for the Cats; the 2012-13 edition of the black and gold have gone 20-4-6 at the corner of Washington and Divide, including the playoffs.
“Playing in front of the home crowd is always great because it gets so loud at the VFW and that really pumps us up out there,” explained Bobcat goalie Aaron Nelson, who has years of experience at the VFW Sports Center as a Bismarck native. “We want to do what we can to play our best in front of the fans that do so much to support us all year long.”
In four games in the Capital City this season, the Bobcats and Bruins each posted a record of 2-1-1.
If the Bobcats want to advance to their fifth straight Robertson Cup Tournament, they will need to improve their power play numbers; in a three-game sweep of Brookings the Cats posted a 6-for-15 mark but have yet to score in six tries against Austin.
“Our ‘PP’ got some good looks but got hung up on zone entry,” assessed Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie. “We’ve gone over the issues in film review so now it’s a matter of putting that into action on the ice. Once we get into the zone though, our guys need to start finishing; we had a number of grade-A chances but came up empty both nights.”
Despite the power outage in the division final round, the Bobcat power play still leads the league in the playoffs with a 28.6% efficiency rating.
Game Three is scheduled for a 7:15 PM puck drop Friday. The winner of that game will have a chance to move on to Frisco in Saturday’s Game Four, also a 7:15 PM start. If needed, Game Five would be Monday at Riverside Arena in Austin at 7:05 PM.
Tickets are on sale for Cats’ final two home dates right now; fans can buy and print online 24 hours a day at BismarckBobcats.com or charge by phone at 222-3300.
Friday’s pivotal Game Three 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.