Monday Roundup: Alum Piotrowski Commits to Yale
Friday, February 27: Wilderness 6, Bobcats 3
Saturday, February 28: Bobcats 8, Wilderness 4
Friday, March 7: Bobcats vs. Brown Bears, VFW Sports Center, 7:15pm
Saturday, March 8: Bobcats vs. Brown Bears, VFW Sports Center, 7:15pm
NEW HAVEN, CT – Bismarck Bobcat alumnus J.M. Piotrowski has announced that he has committed to play Division I collegiate hockey at Yale University.
The Irving, Tex., native becomes the fourth 2014-15 Bobcat to commit, joining Air Force recruits Evan Giesler, Matt Perry and Joe Tyran. 2011-12 alum Cody Boyd signed on earlier this season with Canisius.
Piotrowski appeared in 39 games this season in black and gold before being traded to the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede prior to the NAHL roster deadline. In his time with the Bobcats, he scored 13 goals and added 8 assists.
When he matriculates to New Haven, Piotrowski will join 2012-14 Bobcat alum and reigning NAHL Defenseman of the Year Nate Repensky with the Bulldogs.
Yale is currently ranked 12th in the D-I PairWise rankings; the Bulldogs are eyeing a return to the NCAA Tournament after winning the national title in 2013.
Hat in Hand
Thanks to three-point weekends, Bobcat forwards Jared Pike and Alex Strand earned honorable mention Monday for the NAHL’s Central Division Star of the Week award.
Pike delivered the Cats their first hat trick of 2014-15 Saturday to help the black and gold to a big 8-4 victory and a weekend split with the visiting Minnesota Wilderness.
That hat trick propelled the rookie out of Sandy, Utah, to the Cats’ top scoring mark for February with six points—all goals—in seven games played.
Strand scored the Bobcats’ third goal in Friday’s 6-3 loss while adding an assist then tacked on the primary helper on Pike’s second goal Saturday during a 4-on-4.
With the calendars rolling over to March, the NCAA hockey postseason is under way at the Division III level and just around the corner in Division I—and former Bobcats are vying for tournament placement at all levels.
Conference tournaments are well under way for D-III teams, with numerous Bobcat alums still alive for automatic berths in the big dance’s field of 11.
The alumni trio of Sam Dougherty, George Malliaras and Brett Bower—all 2009-11 Bobcats—at St. Norbert sit in good shape for making the tournament: the defending national champion Green Knights will face archrival Adrian in the NCHA finals Saturday, with the winner automatically advancing to the NCAA tournament; St. Norbert is also currently ranked fifth in Division III, making them a strong candidate for one of the three at-large bids should they not prevail against the #2 Bulldogs.
2012-13 center Bob Kinne scored a goal in the MIAC semifinals to help land St. Mary’s a date in the finals this Saturday against Hamline.
Another 2012-13 Bobcat, Joe Giordano, is two wins away from the tournament as Giordano’s Connecticut College Camels advanced to the NESCAC semifinals with an overtime victory over Hamilton; they will face 14th-ranked Williams for a spot in the conference finals.
Meanwhile, 2011-12 forward Mike Fazio also notched a goal in the first game of the WIAC’s semifinals for Wisconsin-River Falls as the Falcons edged Wisconsin-Eau Claire two games to one to advance to a finals matchup with #4 Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Despite being eliminated from the WIAC tourney, UW-Eau Claire, featuring 2011-13 Bobcats Patrick Moore and Adam Knochenmus, sits on the bubble for the at-large pool, with a top-15 ranking in both the national poll and PairWise comparison.
In Division I, numerous teams featuring Bobcats sit in the top 15 of the PairWise, the ranking formula used in conjunction with the conference tournaments to determine the tournament field: #2 Minnesota State (Aaron Nelson); fifth-ranked Nebraska-Omaha (Ryan Massa); number seven Michigan Tech (Blake Hietala); a 12th-place tie between Quinnipiac (Alex Barron) and Yale (Nate Repensky); and #14 Bowling Green (Tommy Burke and Matt Pohlkamp).
Bobcat Hockey wishes good luck to all of its collegiate alumni this tournament season!
The Cats continue their season-high seven-game home stand Friday and Saturday as the Kenai River Brown Bears make their first trip to the VFW Sports Center since October of 2007.
Tickets are on sale right now for both contests against the Brown Bears: fans can buy and print tickets online 24 hours a day at BismarckBobcats.com or charge by phone at 222-3300.
Live coverage of Friday’s weekend opener will begin at 6:45pm 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.
Though the 2014-15 season is entering its home stretch, pro-rated season tickets are still available for the last run of home games; fans who want to lock in their seats for the remainder of the campaign should call the Bobcat office at 222-3300 today!