Late Volley Secures Bobcats 4-2 Road Victory
ABERDEEN, SD – Locked in a third-period tie in hostile territory, the Bismarck Bobcats got two late goals to surge to a 4-2 win over the Aberdeen Wings Friday at Odde Ice Center.
With the score evened at two early in the final frame, the visiting Bobcats quieted the crowd of 1,128 in Aberdeen with 11:57 to go when Stanislav Dzakhov whipped a rising wrist shot in transition that beat Wings goalie Jordyn Kaufer over the blocker to boost the Cats to a 3-2 lead.
“We, as a coaching staff, have been talking to Stan and working with him on being a little more selfish and taking the shot when he’s got a good angle,” noted Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, who acquired the 6’1” Russian forward in a trade in late December. “He’s got great hands and can make unbelievable plays, but he can also really fire the puck. [Friday] he got into a good shooting lane and put a heck of a shot on goal.”
Bobcat captain Adam Knochenmus deflated the comeback-minded Wings fans with 5:05 left in regulation, blasting home a one-timer off a centering effort from Patrick Moore to double the Cats’ lead to 4-2.
The Cats’ defense stifled Aberdeen’s attempts to rally in the game’s closing minutes, keeping the puck in the neutral zone for nearly the entire final two minutes to help preserve the 4-2 victory.
It was the Wings, though, that started the game hot: Erik Baskin notched his third goal of the year—and second against the Bobcats—burying a Steven Johnson rebound on the rush to post the home side to a 1-0 lead with 9:34 remaining in the first period.
That lead would only stand for 85 seconds; Cory Chapman returned the favor for the Bobcats at the 8:09 mark when he teed up a Matt Anders rebound for his second goal in the last three games to knot the game 1-1 heading into the first intermission.
“Our fourth line [of Chapman, Anders and Evan Giesler] played well and earned a lot of ice time,” credited Sedevie. “Cory’s goal was a nice finish on a play that we like to see out of Matt, where he puts his shoulder down and drives the net. He put a nice low shot off Kaufer’s pads and into a nice spot for Cory to put it back.”
Patrick Moore gave the Cats their first lead at 2-1 a mere 2:02 into the second, ripping a shot over Kaufer’s glove moments after Bobcat netminder Aaron Nelson denied Aberdeen’s Zach Kraft on a shorthanded breakaway.
Early in the third period the Wings, who had scored three third-period goals in each of the teams’ last two meetings, knotted the game at two on a Justin Parizek tally in transition when the veteran winger rifled a low shot past Nelson, getting the building rocking before Dzakhov and Knochenmus helped the Bobcats regain control.
Nelson finished with 22 saves to record his 13th win of the season; Kaufer totaled 26 stops but dropped his first start for the Wings since being acquired via trade with the Wenatchee Wild.
With the victory, the Bobcats extend their lead in the 2012-13 Titan Machinery Dakota Cup to 8-3 over the Wings.
The two sides will reconvene at 7:15 PM Saturday at the VFW Sports Center for the finale of the weekend home-and-home series.
Tickets for the Dakota Cup rematch are on sale by calling the Bobcat Box Office at 222-3300; fans can buy and print tickets online right now at BismarckBobcats.com.
Saturday’s weekend finale will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide on the official internet television partner of the NAHL, FASTHockey, at http://nahl.fasthockey.com. Pregame coverage gets under way at 6:45 PM.
Pro-rated season tickets for the 2012-13 season are now on sale—and going fast! Call the Bobcat Hockey office today at (701) 222-3300 to reserve your seats for another great season of Championship Entertainment.