Bobcats Host Brookings as Playoffs Open
Matchup: Bismarck Bobcats (37-19-4, 1st Central) vs Brookings Blizzard (25-29-6, 4th Central)
Games: Friday, April 15, 7:15pm; Saturday, April 16, 7:15pm
Venue: VFW Sports Center, Bismarck, N.D.
Series: Tied 0-0
Regular Season Series: Bobcats won series 8-2-2
All-Time: Bobcats lead Blizzard 28-13-4 (3-0 in playoffs)
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 the division’s top seed in tow, the Bismarck Bobcats will open the 2016 Robertson Cup Playoffs against the Brookings Blizzard Friday at the VFW Sports Center with Game One of the best-of-five-game Central Division Semifinals.
It is the second time the two teams have met in the postseason since the Blizzard relocated to Brookings from Alexandria in 2012—the first being a 3-0 Bobcat series win in the opening round of the 2013 playoffs.
Both teams come into the playoffs on a tear: the Bobcats posted a 4-1-1 mark in their final six regular season games to secure home ice advantage; Brookings rode a 4-1-0 finish to the season to a tie for fourth place, which the Blizzard claimed over the Minnesota Magicians on the wins tiebreaker.
“Brookings is playing some strong hockey right now, and getting good performances in net from Josh Kuemichel,” credited Bobcats assistant coach Garrett Roth. “They are hot at the right time, and we need to come in with a strong game plan and execute it well.”
Center Aaron Herdt led a balanced Bobcat attack in the regular season with 52 points on 19 goals and 33 assists while Alex Strand (27g, 22a), Jared Pike (23g, 20a), Harrison Aide (15g, 28a), Willie Brown (21g, 21a) and Travis Wood (12g, 30a) all posted more than 40 points.
Bobcat goalie Hunter Shepard carved his name into the franchise record books with a record of 34-11-3 to go with a 1.90 GAA and a .926 SV% in his second season with the Cats.
Kuemichel finished the season with three of the last four Central Division Star of the Week awards to finish the year with a 15-13-2 record; the Hopkins, Minn., native also presided over all four of the Blizzard’s win against the Bobcats this season.
Blizzard center Griff Jeszka topped Brookings’ scoring list in 2015, scoring 15 goals and adding 33 assists in his third NAHL season.
Tickets are now on sale for the first weekend of the 2016 postseason: fans can buy and print online 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 playoff opener 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.
Tickets are now on sale for the Cats’ run in the 2016 Robertson Cup Playoffs and are already going fast! Lock in yours for the entire playoff run by signing up for 2016-17 season tickets today.