There’s No Place Like Home

BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats will close their grinding eight-games-in-fifteen-nights stretch that has spanned late January and early February with a Friday game against the Alexandria Blizzard and a Saturday contest against the Austin Bruins, both at the VFW Sports Center.

“It’s been a tough three weeks for everybody, physically and emotionally,” explained Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, whose team has only faced playoff-bound teams in Alexandria, Austin and Aberdeen during the 15-night grind. “We’re glad to be home but we can’t be too happy that this stretch is about to end; there are still four big points out there Friday and Saturday.”

Alexandria enters Friday’s game looking to close ground on the first-place Bobcats, who have extended their lead to 16 points over the second-place Blizzard since snapping Alexandria’s league-high 11-game win streak on January 29.

The Bobcats-Blizzard rivalry has intensified in the second half of the season as the 2011-12 schedule only pitted the I-94 foes against one another twice before Christmas, causing the two to meet each other 10 times in 2012.

In their four meetings since the start of the calendar year, each game has been decided by one or two goals, with the two-goal games each coming with an empty-netter.

“Alexandria has made some good additions and are making a nice run in the second half,” credited Bobcats goalie Tommy Burke, who is second in the NAHL in wins with 24, “they’re a defensive team and bringing in guys like Matt Youso and Seam Mastrom on defense in front of goalies like [Jameson] Shortreed and [Jacob] Meyers is going to make them a tough matchup the rest of the way.”

By contrast to the road-weary Bobcats, Austin will enter the VFW Sports Center having only played three games since the teams last met on January 28 at Riverside Arena.

Austin’s balanced attack—with five players over 20 points but just one, Brandon Wahlin, with 30—has led them to a good position to try and chase down Alexandria for second place in the Central as the Bruins have three games in hand on the second-place Blizzard with a nine-point deficit in front of them.

The Bobcats, hit with a string of February injuries to Patrick Moore (arm), Nick Miglio (hand) and Filip Starzynski (leg) hope to welcome back rookie forward Mike Dockry, who has been held out following hip surgery in October.

Both Friday and Saturday’s home tilts will get under way at 7:15 PM at the VFW Sports Center.

Each game will 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 Pregame coverage gets under way at 6:45 PM both nights.

Season tickets are still available for the second half of the 2011-12 season—and going fast! Call the Bobcat Hockey office at (701) 222-3300 or email for more information on reserving a pro-rated package for the rest of the season!