Jouppi Named Forward of the Month for December
FRISCO, TX - Earning a point in every game in which he appeared in December, Bismarck Bobcats forward Austin Jouppi was named the North American Hockey League's Forward of the Month on Thursday.
In eight appearances in the month, Jouppi tallied six goals and eight assists for the Cats to stretch his point streak to 11 games (9g, 12a overall in the streak) dating back to Thanksgiving after registering just six points in his first 16 contests. He now leads the Bobcats in scoring with 27 points.
"I think once I got used to the pace of the game in the NAHL vs. what I was used to playing high school hockey has been the biggest difference in my game lately. I think with that has come confidence as a player and things have progressed from there," noted the Duluth, Minn. native.
"I want to be a complete player and have a good plus/minus rating. Beyond that I would really like an opportunity to play NCAA Division I hockey. I think we have a team here in Bismarck that can make the playoffs and compete for a Robertson Cup, but we just have to be a little more consistent and try and string some wins together and not be satisfied with just splitting series."
Though his offense has taken off during the holiday season, Jouppi's defensive prowess-the former Duluth East Greyhound is tied for the team lead in plus/minus at +14-continues to impress his Bobcat coaches.
"Austin is a 200-foot player with very good skill, and his work ethic and character are at the forefront of his game. His skill set and ability to make plays along with his other tangibles to block shots and play a complete game are the reasons he's going to be a really good at the next level," hailed Bobcat head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie.
Jouppi, who earned the Cats' first Central Division Star of the Week award of the season on Wednesday, is the second Bobcat to secure a monthly league-wide award after Sam Malinski was named Defenseman of the Month for October.
The Bobcats also picked up honorable mentions for the league's monthly hardware: Jack Olsen for Defenseman of the Month and John Roberts for Goalie of the Month.
On the ice, Jouppi and the rest of the Bobcats open 2019 with a 7:15pm puck drop on Friday in Aberdeen against the division-leading Wings before returning home for a Saturday rematch at 7:15pm at the VFW Sports Center.
Fans can buy and print tickets 24 hours a day at BismarckBobcats.com or by clicking "Shop Now" on the team Facebook page for Saturday's home game.
Live coverage for both contests starts at 6:45pm 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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