BISMARCK, ND – With the regular season opener looming and important roster decisions to be made, the Bismarck Bobcats will host the expansion Minot Minotauros for preseason games Friday and Saturday at the VFW Sports Center.
After a week of dryland training with “Hell Week” at Healthways Gym followed by the past week of full-speed practice on the ice, the Bobcats are chomping at the bit to hit the ice against another team.
“We’ve been away from live competition for a long time,” said veteran Bobcats forward Nikolaj Rosenthal, the team’s third-leading scorer in 2010-11, “so we’re looking forward to getting things going again. We think we have a chance to be a special team so we’re excited to see how we look on the ice and stacked up against another team in our division.”
As the roster sits at 30 players entering the weekend, it will make for a tough decision for Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, as his roster must be at 25 heading into the season opener on Wednesday against the New Mexico Mustangs.
“If there’s a drawback, or a worst part of my job, it’s having to cut players,” said Sedevie, who enters his second year as head coach. “Not only have these guys worked hard and bought into Bobcat Hockey, but they are all flat-out good players.
“Usually the process works itself out as certain players aren’t in the best shape or perform below expectation on the ice—but not this year. Everyone has been spectacular. All 30 of these guys have a future in this league. It’s unfortunate that they can’t all be a part of this team.”
Friday and Saturday will also be the first look for the Bobcats and their fans at the Minotauros, the newest members of the Central Division.
“We don’t know what to expect from Minot,” admitted Bobcat netminder Tommy Burke, “they’re a new team with new coaches. The positive is that we actually get to see them in the preseason when the emphasis is more on our team and our systems; we can get better on the ice and we’ll have no surprises when we see them a few weeks down the line.”
Younger fans of Bobcat Hockey will have a special chance to view this weekend’s preseason games, as one youth ticket will be free with the purchase of one adult ticket both nights.
Friday and Saturday’s games will start at 7:15 PM at the VFW Sports Center, with Buck-Off Beers from 6:45 until the opening puck drop.
For the first time, the Bobcats will be broadcasting their preseason contests both locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide at http://nahl.fasthockey.com. Pre-game coverage begins both nights at 6:45 PM.
Season tickets are now on sale for the 2011-12 season—and going fast! Call the Bobcat Hockey office at (701) 222-3300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on reserving your seats for the upcoming season!
2011 CENTRAL DIVISION CHAMPIONS