Breakout October Nets Malinski Defenseman of the Month Honors
FRISCO, TX - Earning a point in all but one game in the month and leading all defensemen in points per game yielded Bismarck Bobcats blueliner Sam Malinski the NAHL's Defenseman of the Month award for October.
"Sam's play-not just as a defenseman but also as a leader of this team-was special in October. Goals aren't always easy to come by on the blue line but for him to score five in six games says a lot about the level he's playing at," hailed Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie.
"He has the ability to change games single-handedly. His hockey IQ along with his shot and ability to compete to me make him an elite defenseman and a big reason we are having early success."
In just six appearances, Malinski not only scored five goals but chipped in three assists in the month. His strongest statement came on October 26 at home, a game that saw the Lakeville, Minn., native force overtime with two goals in the last three minutes of regulation and then net the clincher in the shootout for a stunning 5-4 win over Aberdeen.
The second-year defender, like many other returning Bobcats, is using the near-miss finish of last season to fuel a strong start.
"I think after the way last season ended, there was some motivation on my part and that of the returning players to work harder this year to ensure the team was going to have success," said Malinski.
"I have been focused on trying to take care of things in the defensive end first and let that translate into offense on the other end. We have a team that is full of talented players and our goal this year is to make sure we make the playoffs and give ourselves a change to win a Robertson Cup. Beyond that, I just want to keep working hard and improving to the point to where I am able to realize my dream of playing NCAA Division I hockey."
On the year, Malinski has 13 points (6g, 7a) in 12 appearances; as a rookie he had 10 points (1g, 9a) in 28 games played.
Malinski's monthly nod is the first of 2018-19 for the Bobcats and their first monthly award winner since Patrick O'Connor earned Defenseman of the Month honors for December 2017.
On the ice, Malinski and the Bobcats will play their first full home weekend of 2018-19 when they host the Minnesota Wilderness Friday and Saturday at the VFW Sports Center.
Fans can buy and print tickets 24 hours a day at BismarckBobcats.com or by clicking "Shop Now" at the top of the team's Facebook page.
Live coverage starts at 6:45pm for Friday's home contest on Super Talk 1270 AM, the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, and at HockeyTV.com, the official web television partner of the NAHL.
Pro-rated season tickets for the 2018-19 campaign are still available; lock in your seats for the remaining home schedule today: sign up at BismarckBobcats.com/seasontickets or call 222-3300 for more information!
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