A return to Alaska highlights the Bismarck Bobcats’ 2017-18 regular-season schedule.
The North American Hockey League club announced its regular-season slate on Saturday, and after playing only intradivisional contests in 2016-17, the team will face off against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs and Kenai River Brown Bears in home-and-home series this season.
After opening the season Sept. 20-23 at the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, Minn., the Bobcats will drop the puck for its home opener on Sept. 29 at the VFW Sports Center in the first of a two-game series against Fairbanks.
Kenai River comes to Bismarck for a two-game series on Oct. 13-14, and the Bobcats will head north for a two-week trek to Fairbanks and Soldotna in November.
The series at Fairbanks (Oct. 10-11) and Kenai River (Nov. 17-18) will be the first trip to Alaska for the Bobcats since 2009 and 2014.
“I’m excited that our team will get another road trip to Alaska,” Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie said. “Being together non-stop in a new place for two weeks is always a huge boost to team bonding.”
Once again, the majority of the team’s 60-game regular season schedule will consist of games against their Central Division rivals. The Bobcats will square off 12 times – six at home and on the road – against their closest geographical rivals – the Minot Minotauros, Aberdeen Wings and Brookings Blizzard.
Bismarck will play eight games – four home and road – with Central foes Austin and the Minnesota Wilderness.
The Bobcats’ annual New Year’s Eve game will be Dec. 31 against the Minotauros.
The team will announced its promotional schedule in July and the NAHL will announce the Showcase pairings at a later date. The Bobcats will hold their annual Main Camp on July 21-23 at the VFW Sports Center.