ALEXANDRIA, MN – Two of the hottest teams in the North American Hockey league will square off this weekend for a home-and-home series as the Bismarck Bobcats travel to take on the Alexandria Blizzard on Friday before a home date against the Blizzard at the VFW Sports Center on Saturday.
The two-night series pits a Bobcats squad—whose record in its last 18 games sits at an impressive 16-1-1—against a hard-charging Blizzard side that is 8-1-1 in its last 10.
“We’ve seen Alexandria get better and better each time we’ve played them,” said Bobcats assistant coach Layne Sedevie, “and now they’re starting to show how good they are in the win column.
“The way [head coach] Doc [DelCastillo] has that team playing, there’s no question that they’re a very dangerous team here in the second half [of the season].”
Bobcats forward George Malliaras agrees with Sedevie’s assessment.
“We feel really fortunate to have won the first eight games we’ve played against the Blizzard,” said Malliaras, “that’s a really good hockey team right now.
“It’s tough to go 8-0-0 against anyone, especially in this division—and now our challenge is to keep it going against one of the hardest-working teams that we’ll go up against this year.”
Alexandria’s current three-game winning streak has put the Blizzard back at .500 (14-14-4, 32 pts) for the first time since they were 4-4-3 on October 23rd and pushed them into sole possession of third place over the fading North Iowa Outlaws (13-17-4, 30 pts).
According to Sedevie, it’s a combination of coaching and goaltending that has the Blizzard challenging for a possible top-two seed in the Central Division playoffs.
“First of all, Doc has his guys playing his style of tough, physical hockey,” said Sedevie. “It took him awhile to get the right pieces [in Alexandria], but now they’re starting to take off. And should the guys up front not be firing on all cylinders, they’ve got two great goalies in Chris Kamal and Robert Tadazak that can keep them in any game.”
Kamal (12-7-2) is currently tied for fourth among active NAHL goalies in goals against average with Bobcats netminder Ryan Faragher (16-4-6) with a mark of 2.16.
For the Bobcats, Jason Fabian and Sam Rendle have done the most damage against the Blizzard, each registering nine points in the eight contests between the two Central Division rivals.
On the Alexandria side, Blizzard blueliner Michael Pieper has led the charge against the ‘Cats with a goal and four assists—four of those five points coming on the power play—in those eight games.
The home-and-home series opens Friday at Alexandria’s Runestone Center with a 7:00 PM puck drop before shifting to the friendly confines of the VFW Sports Center for a 7:15 PM Saturday night contest.
The Bobcats are excited to offer “Bobcat Buck Beers”—beers for $1.00—from 6:45 until Saturday’s opening faceoff. The ‘Cats also invite all fans to bring their skates and join the team for another session of “Skate with the Bobcats” following Saturday’s home contest.
Friday’s game will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide at BismarckBobcats.com via B2 Networks. The pre-game show starts at 6:30 PM.
You won\’t want to miss any of the games this season, so order your Season Tickets, Family Packs and Group Nights today by calling the Bobcat Hockey Office at 701-222-3300 or by e-mailing the office for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.