The North American Hockey League (NAHL) is pleased to announce that the Aberdeen Wings and Bismarck Bobcats will play an exhibition game at Maysa Arena in Minot, N.D., on Thursday, Dec. 2.
“As we explore Minot as a potential NAHL market, the chance to showcase our energizing, family-friendly brand of hockey to the entire community presents an exciting opportunity,” said NAHL commissioner Mark Frankenfeld.
Minot is no stranger to junior hockey. In 2000-01, the Minot Muskies played in the America West Hockey League, which merged with the NAHL in 2003. In its only season, the team fashioned a 38-18-4 record and averaged over 1,700 a game in attendance.
From 1994-97, the Minot Top Guns were members of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
“There’s such a rich hockey history in Minot, especially junior hockey,” said Frankenfeld. “With the right ownership group committed to both the players’ and the community’s success, that tradition can be resurrected and flourish.”
Frankenfeld recently met with a potential ownership group, which was enthused to hear the exhibition game will generate close to $10,000 for Minot’s youth hockey association. The group is currently meeting with local businesses, the parks and recreation department and the Minot community to gain support for the project.
Bismarck’s owner, Thom Brigl, a native of Mandan, N.D., is also excited about the prospects of icing an NAHL team in Minot.
“It’s a great opportunity for both Minot and the NAHL, but it’s vital the new ownership group receives the unwavering support from the community if the venture is going to sustain long-term success," he said.
“Not only would a team in Minot open more doors for aspiring players hoping to advance their athletic and academic careers, but it would create instant geographic rivalries within the Central Division,” Frankenfeld added. “We’re very excited about the possibilities.”
Tickets may be purchased at Maysa Arena at either its parks and recreation or youth hockey office.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)