The Bismarck Bobcats are a proud member franchise of the 24-team North American Hockey League, the oldest Junior “A” hockey league in the USA. Founded in 1997, Bobcat Hockey has become an important sports and entertainment cornerstone in Bismarck.
The Bobcats are the 2010 Robertson Cup Champions, winning the national championship with a 3-0 victory over the Fairbanks Ice Dogs on May 9, 2010. They have also captured six Central Cups, awarded to the NAHL Central Division playoff champions.
In addition to the Robertson Cup, the Bobcats also won back-to-back Borne Cup titles as champions of the AWHL in 2003 and 2004. Their 2004 title was the last Borne Cup to be awarded prior to the NAHL-AWHL merger.
The Bismarck Bobcats came to Bismarck in 1997 and played their first season at the Bismarck Civic Center. They moved to the V.F.W. Sports Center the following year and have called it home ever since. The V.F.W. Sports Center was remodeled in the summer of 2008. The seating capacity 1,289 and with standing room is 1,450.
The Bobcats have had five head coaches in their tenure in Bismarck.
Layne Sedevie is the current head coach, having been promoted from assistant coach following Byron Pool’s decision to accept an associate head coach position with the Fargo Force of the USHL. Sedevie, a Bismarck native, was a goaltender at Bemidji State University and played professionally in the CHL before serving as assistant coach under Pool for the 2009-10 season. Under Sedevie in 2011-12, the team broke multiple franchise records including best record (45-13-2, 92 pts), wins (45), consecutive home wins (14), goaltender wins (Tommy Burke, 31) and goals by a defenseman (Donald Olivieri, 22). He has guided the program to three straight division titles since 2011.
Pool, who served as head coach 2007-2010 was named the NAHL “Coach of the Year” in 2009. In addition to leading the team to its first-ever Robertson Cup title in 2010, he led the franchise to its first-ever regular season and playoff division titles in 2008-09. The Bobcats won 43 games and earned 88 points in the standings, which both set franchise records at the time. The Bobcats won consecutive Central Division Playoff titles under Pool in 2009 and 2010.
Other former Bobcat coaches include; John Becanic, the late Chad Johnson, and Dane Litke.
The 2016-2017 campaign will be the franchise’s 20th season in Bismarck.
Bobcat Hockey has also been a highly successful program in terms of moving players onto the next level, helping to secure over 200 players spots at the NCAA level in their post-Bobcat years at schools such as North Dakota, Air Force, Wisconsin, Army, Ferris State, Williams and many others.
The Bobcats also take great pride in the team’s deep roots in the Bismarck community, partnering with local and national organizations such as Dreams in Motion, the American Heart Association, St. Baldrick’s, BLAST, the Salvation Army, Bismarck Hockey and more to help make the capital city a better place.
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