With a successful opening weekend in the rearview mirror, the Bismarck Bobcats look to build on their best start since 2011 as they head to the 13th annual Easton NAHL Showcase at the Schwan Super Rink, starting Wednesday with a 4:15pm duel with the New Jersey Jr. Titans.
At 2-0-0, the Cats have matched their best start since opening the 2011-12 campaign with an identical record. Unlike any other season under head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, however, those first two games came in advance of the NAHL’s annual headline event.
“It’s strange to travel to Blaine with the season already under way,” admitted Sedevie, who has nine wins against 11 losses at the Showcase as a head coach, “but it’s not a bad thing. Being able to see our guys in live game action and have a chance to evaluate it before they go under the microscope of over 300 college and NHL scouts is helpful for coaches and even more helpful for the players.”
Up front, the Bobcats were led in their first two contests by the line of Willie Brown, Aaron Herdt and Travis Wood combined for five goals and 13 assists as the Cats swept the rival Austin Bruins.
Brown earned Central Division Star of the Week honors for contributing seven of those points (1g, 6a).
Goaltender Hunter Shepard stopped 43 of 46 shots between the two games, posting a shutout on Saturday, to start his second year of junior hockey 2-0-0.
New Jersey also had the benefit of a pre-Showcase regular season weekend, having split a pair of home games against the Aston Rebels (3-2 loss) and Johnstown Tomahawks (5-2 win) to open their first campaign in Middletown.
Though the Titans are newcomers to the NAHL, the team features 10 second-or-third-year NAHL players—including seven players from the Soo Eagles, the franchise that moved east to become the Jr. Titans.
Veterans Keegan Miller, Garrett Halford, Raymond Brice and rookie Andrew Durham share the early season scoring lead for New Jersey with two points each.
Following the Cats’ clash with the Jr. Titans, they will face the Topeka Roadrunners, Odessa Jackalopes and Coulee Region Chill on the subsequent days.
Wednesday’s Showcase opener will be broadcast live on locally SuperTalk 1270 AM, the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, and worldwide online at NAHL.FASTHockey.com—the official web television partner of the North American Hockey League—with pregame coverage starting at3:45pm.
Season tickets are now on sale for the 2015-16 campaign; if you want to beat the rush of 40,000 fans for this season, now is the time! Call 222-3300 today to reserve your seats.