Cats, Columbus Clash to Wrap 4 Game Homestand

by Brett Wiseman


The Blue Ridge Bobcats will complete their longest homestand yet this weekend when they host the Continental-Division leading Columbus River Dragons at the APEX Center this Friday and Saturday night. 

The Bobcats picked up 4 out of 9 possible points during a three-game stretch last weekend, falling in a shootout and in regulation to the Carolina Thunderbirds and Motor City Rockers respectively, sandwiching a resounding 7-1 victory over the Rockers in between.

The River Dragons enter the weekend fresh off three straight wins over the Elmira River Sharks and Carolina Thunderbirds. Columbus sits atop the Continental Division with a record of 20-3-2, good for 62 standings points.

As the Bobcats have continued to find their footing and build one strong game on top of another, they've climbed to just 4 points back of fifth place in the Continental Division.

Blue Ridge's biggest improvement of late has been the power play, which has risen to an efficiency of 13%, grabbing four goals on the man advantage over the last three games.

Looking to stay hot will be the Bobcats' long-haired forwards, Danny Martin and Ricards Jelenskis. Martin is riding a three-game point streak, with 5 goals and 3 assists during that span. The five goals make up for all but one the Ottawa native has scored since joining Blue Ridge. Martin's hot streak has skyrocketed him to third on the team in points (6G, 11A, 17PTS) trailing Hunter Hall (9G, 10A, 19PTS) and Jakub Volf (10G, 10A, 20PTS).

 Jelenskis has played just 5 games as a Bobcat, and has already potted 6 points (4 goals, 2 assists).

Cody Oakes, Josh Newberg and Andrei Ivanov will all look to enter double-digits in points this weekend.

Friday night is Teddy Bear Toss Night, presented by Mount Rogers Community Services. Fans are encouraged to bring stuffed animals of all kinds to throw towards the ice after the Bobcats first goal. All stuffed animals collected will be donated to Mount Rogers' youth programs. Doors open at 6:00 PM, with puck drop scheduled for 7:30. Pregame coverage on BobcatsTV on YouTube beings at 7:15, and can be seen via the following link:

Saturday night is Stick it to Cancer Night, presented by the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life Wythe County. The Bobcats will be wearing special cancer awareness jerseys which will be auctioned off on DASH, as well as selling limited edition cancer awareness t-shirts and offering a postgame skate with the players. Proceeds from the jersey auction, t-shirt sales and skate rentals will go directly to Relay for Life Wythe County. Fans are encouraged to pick up an "I Fight For" sign upon entering the arena, and write a name or phrase of their choice in the blank box. A special presentation of all signs will take place during the game's second intermission. Doors open at 5:30, with puck drop scheduled for 7:00. Pregame coverage on BobcatsTV on YouTube beings at 6:45, and can be seen via the following link:

Tickets are available for both games by visiting the APEX Center box office during business hours, or by calling 276-335-2100.