Road Battle Looms as Bobcats Head North
MINOT, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats will hit the road in search of consistency against one of their biggest rivals when they take on the Minot Minotauros for a two-game series, Friday and Saturday, at Maysa Arena.
Through three meetings, the Bobcats are an even 1-1-1 against the Tauros; the Cats claimed their first win against their in-state rivals Friday with a 3-0 victory that snapped Minot’s league-high six-game win streak.
“We need to stop leaving points on the ice, which we’ve done against Minot twice this year,” said Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, whose team has led in all three games against the Minotauros. “Thanksgiving was tough to take because I think we outplayed them but found a way to lose in the shootout.
“As a coaching staff, we want to see if our guys can respond to a strong win against Minot last Friday with two strong efforts this week in a hostile environment.”
One big area that the Bobcats are looking for a response from is the power play, which has struggled of late with only two goals in the last four games and a 2-for-18 efficiency overall in those four contests.
Both power play goals in that span have been scored by Mike Dockry.
“Our so-called second unit with Mikey and Bob Kinne and Joe Giordano has been the only one producing,” pointed out Sedevie. “Going forward we want both units to be able to go out there and get goals, which means we need our top unit with Adam Knochenmus, Shane Omdahl and Patrick Moore to get back to the production we saw from them in late October.”
When not on special teams, though, the Cats have been getting major production of late from the line of Dockry, Knochenmus and Moore: the trio has accounted for five even strength goals in the last two games—including both game winners for Knochenmus.
“Playing with Adam and Patty is great,” extolled Dockry, who has nine goals and five assists in his last 18 games, “because we all work well together. Everyone works hard and gets into good spots to score and make plays for each other.”
The key matchup for the weekend, though, will be in net as Bobcat netminder Aaron Nelson (9-3-2, 1.68 GAA, .942 GAA) battles Minot’s Tyler Parks (10-7-0, 2.68 GAA, .918 GAA). Both netminders been in the cage for all three intrastate matchups, though Nelson came in as a mid-game replacement during the 5-4 shootout loss on Thanksgiving.
Each goalie has put up strong numbers in 2012, but in very different ways.
“Tyler is a very big goalie at 6’6” and does a great job using his size,” illustrated Sedevie, a former collegiate and professional goaltender himself, “while Aaron is smaller (5’9”) but challenges the shot as well as anyone I’ve seen. We need to try and put a lot of shots on Parks this weekend to create goals; when you have a goalie with a strong save percentage like he has, you need to get 40-plus shots if you want to have a chance to win.”
Both Friday and Saturday’s contests are scheduled for 7:35 PM starts.
Friday’s road series 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 7:05 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.