Bobcats Head to South Dakota amid Critical Stretch
Matchups: Bismarck Bobcats (12-11-0, 4th Central) vs Aberdeen Wings (8-12-4, 6th Central); Brookings Blizzard (13-10-3, 3rd Central)
Games: Friday, December 11, 7:15pm; Saturday, December 12, 7:30pm
Venue: Odde Ice Center, Aberdeen, S.D.; Larson Ice Center, Brookings, S.D.
Season Series: Bobcats lead Wings 3-0-0; Bobcats and Blizzard tied 1-1-0
All-Time: Bobcats lead Wings 38-14-10; Bobcats lead Blizzard 21-13-2
Radio: SuperTalk 1270 AM, SuperTalk1270.com and the radioPup smartphone app, 6:45pm Friday; 7:00pm Saturday
Internet TV: http://NAHL.FASTHockey.com, 6:45pm Friday; 7:00pm Saturday
ABERDEEN, SD – Back into playoff positioning for the first time in a month, the Bismarck Bobcats will continue their four-game early December road swing when they head to South Dakota to take on the rival Aberdeen Wings and Brookings Blizzard, starting Friday in Aberdeen at the Odde Ice Center.
Coming into the weekend, the Cats are on their longest win streak of the season at three straight games—a run that has pushed them past the Minnesota Magicians and into fourth place in the tightly packed Central Division.
“We’re starting to play better hockey, but this weekend will reveal a lot about this team’s character and how they handle a little success,” assessed Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, whose team rose above .500 Saturday for the first time since September 24. “Guys can’t be satisfied that they’ve won three in a row; they should be hungry for more because it took so long for us to be on a three-game streak at all.”
Third-year center Alex Strand has led the Bobcats’ offensive surge over the past few weeks, putting up four goals and four assists in the last six games to tie linemate Harrison Aide for the team lead in points at 21. Travis Wood has chipped in six assists in the last four contests.
Aberdeen, fresh off an overtime win Wednesday over Brookings, bolstered their offense this week: dealing defenseman Matt Sherman to the Minnesota Magicians in exchange for center Rico Ratajczyk, who has five goals and five assists in 16 appearances—including three points (2g, 1a) against the Bobcats.
The Wings have done significant damage to the Bobcats while on the power play, with three of the four goals they’ve collected against the Cats coming with the man advantage; Aberdeen continues to boast a top-ten power play, sitting eighth in the NAHL with a 19.2% efficiency rating.
Brookings remains the Central Division’s best home team, posting a 9-4-0 record at the Larson Ice Center. The Blizzard also feature the seventh-ranked penalty kill in the league, allowing a division-low 14 power play goals on the season.
Blizzard forwards Kane Durment (9g, 16a) and Mikael Hakkarainen (7g, 18a) are tied for ninth league-wide in scoring at 25 points, two points of the division lead of Minot’s Johnny Walker.
Friday’s installment of the Titan Machinery Dakota Cup 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.
Season tickets are still on sale for the 2015-16 season at a pro-rated price; if you want to beat the rush of over 40,000 fans for this year, now is the time! Call 222-3300 to reserve your seats today.