Almost Made It

Bobcats Mount Comeback, Falter in Shootout

BISMARCK, ND — The Bismarck Bobcats rallied to force bonus hockey, but could not finish off the Minot Minotauros, falling 3-2 in a shootout to their in-state rivals in each team's preseason finale Saturday at the VFW Sports Center.

Trailing 2-1 through two periods, the Cats were able to equalize with just 1:02 remaining in regulation as a centering pass from Alex Toscano deflected off Matt Perry and in, ending the third period in a 2-2 tie.

Under NAHL rules, there is no overtime in the preseason, so the game progressed straight to the shootout.

Minot capitalized in the shootout, getting goals from Lucas Debenedet, Quinn Fuchs and Alexander Kositsyn while the Cats only mustered a goal from rookie Johnny Witzke as the visiting Tauros claimed the game 3-2.

With the shootout loss, the Bobcats ended the preseason with a 1-0-1 record.

Debenedet got the scoring for Minot just over five minutes into the game, cashing in a 2-on-1 with Christian Mohs to give the visitors a quick 1-0 lead.

Bobcats veteran Evan Giesler evened the score with 6:04 left in the opening frame, collecting a centering pass from Cullen Willox and blasting it under the crossbar past Tauros goalie Tanner Holmes.

Fuchs, an all-stater at Minot High a season ago, put his hometown squad back ahead at 2-1 with 4:56 remaining in the second, beating Bobcat netminder Alex Bitsakis five-hole on the rush.

In the third, the Bobcats had trouble converting scoring opportunities, as close-range chances for Oskars Batna, Keaton Leininger and Jared Turcotte missed the mark before Perry and Toscano hooked up in the late-goings.

The Bobcats now turn their attention to the regular season, which opens Wednesday when they face the North Division's Soo Eagles at 7:45pm at the Easton NAHL Showcase in Blaine, Minn.

Live coverage of Wednesday's lidlifter will begin at 7:15pm locally on SuperTalk 1270, KLXX-AM, the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, and worldwide online at NAHL.FASTHockey.com, the official web television partner of the North American Hockey League.

With the 2014-15 season arriving soon, demand for season tickets is at an all-time high; fans who want to lock in their seats for the entire campaign should call the Bobcat office at 222-3300 today!