BISMARCK, N.D. - With seven games left in the regular season, the Bismarck Bobcats have already clinched a place in the post-season. A big part of any hockey teams success is its goaltender, which is why Johnny Roberts is in this week's Sports Spotlight.
Roberts is the starting goalie for the Bismarck Bobcats. His 6-1-1 record with two shutout victories in February was recognized by the NAHL. Roberts was named the North American Hockey League's Goaltender of the Month.
"I think the work ethic, I meant that to me that's the reason we gave him the captain letter this year. And, you know, just anytime you come out after a tough loss at the end of last year and the rink is trying to shut the lights off and your goaltenders out there in his gear after a Saturday night game at 11:30 and still doing drills, you know, you got the right guy to wear a letter. And that's Johnny Roberts in a nutshell. He cares, he wears his emotions on his sleeve, he's a diamond in the rough, and he's a steal," said Layne Sedevie, Bobcats head coach.
Before Sedevie was coaching the Bobcats, he was labeled as an undersized goalie. That's something he has in common with Roberts.
"I like that he's not 6'4 and that's kind of the way goaltenders have went. And, you know, everybody says the small goalie can't play anymore, well that's not true. And Aaron Nelson played for us and got a chance to play D-1 hockey, and, you know, Johnny Roberts is going to have a chance to start next year," said Sedevie.
Roberts has committed to Northern Michigan University where he'll play under former Bobcats head coach Byron Poole. The Bobcat background is why Roberts felt right at home joining the Wildcats.
"He had a great relationship with our coach, now coach Layne, and, you know, he knew where I was playing, like he knew how I felt here, he knew the environment, and he said, 'if you love that environment, you're going to love our environment. We play the same kind of style we live in the same kind of town,' and that's just really made me feel like, yeah, I love this place and I'm going to love that place too," said Roberts.
Roberts still has a few more games in Bismarck before he heads to the next chapter of his career.
Roberts, "I just got to enjoy it while lasts I mean obviously college next year and you're not going to be able to enjoy these moments anymore so I mean I've been in Juniors for a while and I just want to embrace the last seven games and its been probably the best time of my life so definitely embracing it all probably my last game here I'll definitely look into the stands an extra couple seconds and just embrace it take in the smiles."
Roberts and the 'Cats are a point behind Austin in the standings and that's who they host on Friday and Saturday this week.