BISMARCK, N.D.–Prior to Saturday night at the VFW Sports Center, the Bismarck Bobcats had never scored in the double-digits for head coach Layne Sedevie.
They finally accomplished the feat for his 400th career coaching victory, all as the Bobcats’ head man, in a 10-4 demolition of the Aberdeen Wings.
The Bobcats opened the scoring three-and-a-half minutes in and never looked back. Calvin Hanson, Vertti Jantunen, and Adam Pietila each scored twice. Michael Neumeier racked up five points. Their power play cashed in three times as well.
“I was worried about how much steam they would have left,” Sedevie said. “With the situation they would be in (after) losing McLean and Valkama. She was a wild one, but it was a heck of an effort.”
A three-game week began on Thursday with a 6-0 shutout win in Aberdeen. McLean and Valkama each left the game due to injuries in the first period and remained injured through the series. Friday’s game went the Wings’ way in a 4-3 overtime defeat. The Bobcats earned five out of six possible standings points this week.
The Bobcats’ last 10-goal output came in Albert Lea, Minn. on March 21, 2009. Bismarck defeated Albert Lea in identical 10-2 scores twice in seven days that season. It had not done so in more than 800 games prior to Saturday.
“You just do not like thinking about (400 wins),” Sedevie said. “I do not think I have ever been so nervous going out for the third period. Not even when I played.”
At the final horn, the entire Bobcats bench mobbed Sedevie, who also shared a moment with his young daughter, Lettie, standing directly behind the glass and holding up a “400 Wins” sign. After also being drenched in the locker room, Sedevie reminisced in his postgame address.
“All the players that have played through this program are what really brings this full circle,” “I told the guys in the locker room I am so thankful that they were able to do it at home.”
For Sedevie, a Bismarck native and Bismarck High School alumnus, 400 wins is merely a byproduct of strong play. The Bobcats have earned points in six out of their seven January games so far. Their record in the month is 4-1-2, and the standings show just a one-point gap between the Cats and a playoff position with plenty of time remaining.
“I feel like we have gained some traction and momentum,” Sedevie said. “Hopefully we can have a good week where we get our rest and move forward … as good as this weekend is, we have to find a way to keep gaining traction.”
For Aberdeen, on the other hand, this week brought adversity to a level never before seen. The 6-0 Thursday victory is the largest shutout ever by an opposing team at the Odde Ice Center. Saturday’s 10-4 result is the first double-digit score against the Wings in their 13-year history. This makes next weekend’s series in South Dakota so much more intriguing.
The Bobcats travel back to Aberdeen for games on Friday, January 27 and Saturday, January 28. Fans can tune in live on SuperTalk 1270 (free radio) and HockeyTV (subscription video).