BISMARCK, N.D. - Hockey teams in the NAHL have to play the longest regular season of any sports teams in North Dakota.
The Bismarck Bobcats start the season Wednesday at the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota. Bismarck's final regular season game is on April 4.
"I think it's a balance process with our off ice training and being in shape and not being sore at that time of the year, and going and playing four games in four days because it's extremely tough and it's a grind. So I think that's probably the biggest balance for us as a staff, but I know it's a good benchmark. It's an awesome event and every kid has a chance to be seen by every school in the country, every NHL team is there," said Head Coach Layne Sedevie.
When the regular season ends in April, the Bobcats feel like they have the talent to keep the year going deep into the playoffs.
"I think was have a really good core. Obviously, we return six defenseman who've played in the league, which is huge. We have a ton of forwards up front. Adam Stacho had 51 points last year and you can go down the line. We're different than last year. Last year, we had six returners, so this year I think we'll have close to 16-17 guys that have Junior-A experience and played with us last year," said Sedevie.
Bismarck opens the showcase against a team from New Mexico on Wednesday. They will also face squads from Wisconsin, Texas and Alaska.