Bobcats Welcome Regional Rivals for Holiday Week
BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats return home to face a trio of rivals based in the Dakotas for the Thanksgiving holiday week, with matchups scheduled for Wednesday at the VFW Sports Center against the Aberdeen Wings, Thursday at home versus the Minot Minotauros and then a home-and-home series with the Brookings Blizzard that wraps with a Saturday home date with the second-place Blizzard.
“It’s a huge weekend from a lot of perspectives,” pointed out Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, whose squad is 4-4-0 in its divisional schedule so far, “first that these are big rivalry games against teams from North Dakota and South Dakota which will definitely inject more intensity than usual on the ice and in the stands. Second, there are eight points out there to be had this weekend—we’re seven points out of second place [behind Brookings].”
Last Friday, the Bobcats and Wings battled into a shootout, which the Bobcats claimed 4-3 thanks to a goal from Shane Omdahl and a 5-for-5 performance submitted by veteran netminder Aaron Nelson.
Aberdeen currently sits tied for fifth place in the Central with Minot, but that didn’t stop the Wings from pushing the third-place Cats to the brink in their first meeting.
“The Wings are a lot different than the team we went up against in the first round [of the 2012 Central Division Playoffs],” offered Omdahl, who leads the Bobcats in goals with 11, “last season they had a lot of big, physical guys and now they are smaller but have a lot more speed. It’s definitely a new look for them.”
Returning forward Justin Parizek continues to be a strong force for the Wings, leading Aberdeen with 16 points on four goals and 12 assists.
One night after the Cats edged the Wings, they were given a rude welcome by their neighbors to the north as the Minotauros ran away with a 4-1 win at Maysa Arena, just the second time the Tauros have beaten the Bobcats in franchise history.
“We made some bad decisions on Saturday and did not execute the game plan at all in Minot,” admitted Sedevie, “and they showed us that they aren’t a team you can take lightly and expect to beat this year. If we want to take down the Tauros on Thanksgiving, we need to have more urgency and protect our own end a lot better.”
Finally, the Bobcats make the trip to Brookings Friday before returning to the friendly confines of the VFW Sports Center to close out the holiday week against the Blizzard.
When the Bobcats and Blizzard last met, Brookings claimed a stunning 4-3 win at the Larson Ice Center over their North Dakota counterparts, as forward Eric Brenk scored with 32 seconds left in regulation to boost the Blizzard to victory.
“There was a lot of frustration coming out of that game, because that’s one we really let slip away,” expressed Bobcats first-round 2012 draft pick Kevin Becker.
Wednesday and Thursday’s contests, along with Saturday’s holiday finale, are scheduled for 7:15 PM at the VFW Sports Center. Friday’s road tilt will start at 7:00 PM in Brookings.
Tickets for all three home games are on sale by calling the Bobcat Box Office at 222-3300; fans can buy and print tickets online right now at BismarckBobcats.com.
Wednesday’s Thanksgiving week opener 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.