Bobcats Face Home-and-Home with Rival Wings
ABERDEEN, SD – The Bismarck Bobcats will hit the road for one game Friday at Odde Ice Center before returning home to the VFW Sports Center Saturday as they face their archrival, the Aberdeen Wings, for a two-game, home-and-home series.
Friday and Saturday will mark the fifth and sixth rounds, respectively, in the Titan Machinery Dakota Cup series, which the Bobcats lead 6-3 so far in 2012-13. In their last weekend series, the Bobcats split a pair of games at Odde Ice Center.
That 3-1 loss by the Bobcats on Friday, November 30, stands as Aberdeen’s last win, as the Wings have gone 0-9-3 in their last 12 games. Despite their recent struggles, the Bobcats are not taking Aberdeen lightly.
“We know Aberdeen is dangerous and can jump up and beat anybody in the division; they’ve already beaten us once and it was the last weekend we played them,” observed Bobcats forward Ryan Callahan, who returned to the active lineup Saturday after being sidelined over three months with a stress fracture in his back. “And we know they’re especially dangerous in their own building, where they have a great crowd.”
Of the Wings’ eight victories in 2012-13, four of them have come at home against just two on the road (two neutral-site wins).
The Bobcats enter the weekend licking wounds of their own after suffering a 1-0 shutout at the hands of the Brookings Blizzard Saturday at home.
“Saturday was frustrating for us. We never want to get shutout, ever,” stressed Bobcats forward Patrick Moore, who leads the team in assists with 21, “but we did learn a few things. The most important lesson we learned was that we need a full-game effort against everyone in our division; if we play as well as we did in the third period [against the Blizzard] for a whole game, we can be a strong team.”
Flying under the radar in Saturday’s home defeat was a 30-for-31 save performance by Bobcat goalie Aaron Nelson, who improved his GAA to 1.72 and his SV% to .938 despite suffering his fifth loss.
According to Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, Nelson will likely share the cage with netminding partner Bryan Nies over the course of the two games.
“We’re looking at splitting time between Bryan and Aaron this weekend,” admitted Sedevie, whose goalies both enjoy a GAA of less than 3.00 and a SV% above .900. “Bryan has stepped up and won his last three starts and is picking up more confidence each game and we want to have a good balance of goaltenders going forward.”
The two-game series begins Friday at 7:15 PM at Odde Ice Center before shifting back to the VFW Sports Center for an identical start time Saturday.
Friday’s installment of the Dakota Cup 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.
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.