ABERDEEN, SD – The red-hot Bismarck Bobcats will have payback on their minds as they head to Odde Arena for a two-game series against the Aberdeen Wings starting with a 7:15 PM showdown Friday night.
Currently, the Bobcats are just 1-2-0 against the Wings and have lost two straight games against the expansion Aberdeen side—including a tough-to-swallow 4-3 loss at Odde Arena on October 15th. The Wings lead the Midcontinent Communications Dakota Cup series 4-2 over the Cats through three of twelve regular season games.
“We were extremely disappointed in our team’s effort both times we’ve been to Aberdeen so far this year,” noted Bobcats head coach Layne Sedevie. “Even when we won the first time, our effort was lacking. After our last loss there, the message from the staff was not a friendly one.
“It seems the message got through, luckily, because the guys have really turned things around since that night.”
Since that 4-3 defeat, the Bobcats are 4-1-0 including road wins at Alexandria and Owatonna—the latter of which comprised the first-ever sweep by the Bobcats at the Four Seasons Centre.
During the Cats’ current four-game win streak, goalie Ryan Faragher has stopped 119 of 126—for a .944 save percentage—shots to improve to nine wins on the young season.
“Is that a good save percentage?” joked Sedevie, a former collegiate and professional goalie. “Ryan has been spectacular. When the coaching transition took place in May, I knew that he was the one guy I needed to build this team around and he is showing why right now.”
Despite a home stumble last weekend against the Austin Bruins, the Wings have pulled themselves out of the Central Division’s basement all the way to fourth place thanks to a 6-3-1 run over their last ten games including sweeps of the Alexandria Blizzard and Coulee Region Chill.
Aberdeen’s big run in the standings is thanks largely to the red-hot play of forward Cory Ward, who has 13 G and 11 A and is on an eight-game point-streak (17 points), the second-longest active streak in the NAHL. Ward’s 24 points make him the top scorer in the Central and the seventh-leading scorer league-wide.
For the Bobcats, attitude will be everything as they pay their third visit to South Dakota this season.
“Earlier in the season, I think it’s fair to say a lot of guys came into the games [against the Wings] assuming they’d each be two free points,” admitted veteran Bobcats forward Sam Dougherty. “But now you look at a team playing really well and a team that we’re 1-2 against when you see Aberdeen. If we take them lightly again, we know what will happen; we need to be working hard for all 60 minutes both nights.”
The Bobcats will have a big addition to the roster this weekend as they welcome #8 overall 2010 draft pick Nick Romanick back to the ice following off-season surgery that sidelined him for the first two months of the year. Romanick, a former Bismarck High standout, spent the 2009-10 season with the USHL’s Fargo Force.
Also returning to the lineup will be another former Demon, Grant Mindt.
The two game series opens Friday at 7:15 PM and finishes with a Saturday rematch at the same time.
Both games will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide at http://nahl.fasthockey.com/. As with all away games during the 2010-11 season, fans are encouraged to view the games each night at Reza’s Pitch—the official away game Home of the Bobcats—at the corner of Third and Front in Bismarck. Pre-game coverage will begin both Friday and Saturday at 6:45 PM CT.
Season tickets are now on sale for the 2010-11 season! Call the Bobcat Hockey office at (701) 222-3300 or email email@example.com for more information on reserving your seats for the entire season as the Bobcats look to defend the Robertson Cup!
2010 ROBERTSON CUP CHAMPIONS