Coming off Road Trip, Bobcats’ Biggest Rivals Await
BISMARCK, ND – With their longest road swing of 2012-13 in the rear view mirror, the Bismarck Bobcats return to North Dakota to square off against their fiercest rivals as the Aberdeen Wings come to town for a Friday tilt before the Cats head 100 miles up US-83 for a Saturday throwdown with the Minot Minotauros.
Friday’s home contest will mark the Cats’ first game at the VFW Sports Center since October 20, fresh off a three-week trip that spanned four states and over 5,000 miles that saw the Black and Gold collect a 3-2-1 record.
“It’s great to be at home and to be able to get back out in front of the best fans in the NAHL, but sometimes you need to go on the road for a while and come together as a team,” offered Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie. “The road atmosphere helps everyone bond because everyone is together for weeks at a time and it builds chemistry quickly.”
When the Wings arrive in Bismarck, it will mark the first round of the 2012-13 Titan Machinery Dakota Cup. The Bobcats have won the first two installments of the traveling trophy, including by a margin of 21-7 in the 2011-12 campaign.
Aberdeen comes into the weekend fresh off a road split with the Coulee Region Chill; the Cats hope to carry forward the momentum from a big 5-1 win at the division-leading Austin Bruins, halting an 0-2-1 skid that saw consecutive third period leads disappear.
“We definitely left some points out there that we know we should’ve had,” admitted Sedevie, “but Saturday’s game in Austin was a big step in the right direction because we got a full 60-minute effort from our guys, saw rookies like Sam Coborn step up with some good hustle and found that killer instinct to put a game away.”
Idle Friday, the Tauros’ home contest against the Cats marks the end of a three-week road trip that mirrored that of their Bismarck counterparts, with stops in Wenatchee, Fresno, Austin and Brookings. Minot went 3-3-0 on their extended trip.
Aside from two preseason contests and an exhibition Tuesday in Dickinson, the Bobcats and Tauros have yet to meet this season. In 12 meetings during 2011-12, the Bobcats collected a record of 11-1-0 against their northern neighbors.
So far, 2012-13 has proven much kinder to the second-year Minotauros who, at 5-12-1, find themselves just two wins shy of their entire 2011-12 total of seven.
Heading into the weekend set, the Cats’ hottest line is that of Adam Knochenmus, Patrick Moore and Shane Omdahl; the veteran unit combined for 17 points on six goals and 11 assists in two games last weekend as Knochenmus and Moore vaulted into the top 20 league-wide in points (20 each) while Omdahl barged his way into the top 10 in NAHL goal scoring (11).
“Our line works well together for a lot of reasons,” explained Omdahl, who poured in a hat trick Saturday en route to four goals on the weekend, “but the biggest is that we’re a veteran group and we’ve played well together for a while now. Patty has great passing and finishing ability and nobody works harder in the gritty areas to make plays than Adam, and I try to be in the right spot when those guys make plays out there.”
The curtain rises on the 2012-13 Titan Machinery Dakota Cup with a 7:15 PM start between the Wings and Bobcats at the VFW Sports Center; tickets are on sale right now by calling the box office at 222-3300 or fans can buy and print online at BismarckBobcats.com. The Cats get right back on the road for Saturday’s tilt at Minot, scheduled for an 8:05 PM puck drop.
Both games 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 a half hour before each contest.
Pro-rated season tickets for the 2012-13 season are now on sale—and going fast! Call the Bobcat Hockey office today at (701) 222-3300 to reserve your seats for another great season of Championship Entertainment.