Big Game Hunters

Bobcats Topple Bruins 5-2

BISMARCK, ND — The Bismarck Bobcats raced out to an early lead and never looked back, thumping the league-best Austin Bruins 5-2 in front of a sell-out crowd at the VFW Sports Center Saturday to claim three of four possible points on the weekend.

Just as they did Friday, the Bobcats struck less than a minute into the game as deadline acquisition Matt Pohlkamp netted his first goal as a Bobcat, blasting home a rising shot off a set-up by Stanislav Dzakhov on the forecheck to boost the home side to a fast 1-0 lead 37 seconds after the opening puck drop.

\”Matt was probably gripping the stick pretty tight after having four grade-A chances [Friday] and not scoring, so it was good that he could get one early tonight,\” assessed Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie. \”He\’s been a great addition; he and Stan and Shane [Omdahl] have had great chemistry so far on a line together for us.\”

Matt Anders quickly followed with his second goal of the weekend, pulling the puck out of a pileup at the side of the Austin net and flicking a backhander past Bruin netminder Jason Pawloski just 94 seconds after Pohlkamp\’s opening tally, doubling the Cats\’ lead to 2-0.

Bobcat netminder Aaron Nelson held off the Bruins\’ attack after Anders\’ marker, stopping all 17 shots he faced in the opening stanza to keep his team in front by two.

In a near-repeat of the first period, the Bobcats scored 38 seconds into the second frame as Omdahl snapped a 12-game goalless streak when the veteran forward took a crafty entry pass from Dzakhov and ripped home a five-hole shot past Pawloski to extend the advantage to 3-0.

\”Stan made a great play to get me into the zone; it almost took me by surprise how perfectly he put it on my stick,\” credited Omdahl, whose tally would eventually stand up as the game-winner, \”and it was big to be able to get the lead out to three at that point in the game. If we don\’t get it to three and Austin gets one, it\’s a whole different game.\”

All told, the Bobcats outshot the Bruins 17-4 in a dominant middle frame, highlighted by the Bobcat penalty kill–victimized for three power play goals Friday–holding Austin to a mere two shots on two second-period power plays.

Austin\’s power play broke through the Cats\’ \”PK\” with 13:07 to go in the third as Drew Anderson rifled home a C.J. Smith rebound to spoil Nelson\’s shutout bid and bring the score to 3-1.

Keyed by a tenacious forecheck by Anders and Joe Giordano, Patrick Moore answered right back for the Bobcats with his second goal in four games, pinballing a shot off Pawloski\’s right skate, off the near post and in with 7:12 to go to push the lead back out to three at 4-1.

Just 2:33 after Moore\’s strike, Bob Kinne made it 5-1 on a point-blank redirect of a Rory Vesel shot.

Second-year Austin forward John Simonson gave the game its final 5-2 score with 2:22 to go in the third, collecting a cross-ice pass from league-leading scorer Brandon Wahlin and beating Nelson low glove for his 24th goal of the season.

Nelson bounced back from surrendering five goals Friday with a 29-for-31 performance Saturday to secure his 18th win of 2012-13.

Pawloski finished with 42 saves but could not avoid just the second regulation loss of his superlative rookie campaign.

The Bobcats will wrap up their current three-game homestand Friday at 7:15 PM when they host the front end of a home-and-home series with the arch rival Aberdeen Wings at the VFW Sports Center.

Tickets for the Titan Machinery Dakota Cup matchup are on sale by calling the Bobcat Box Office at 222-3300; fans can buy and print tickets online right now at BismarckBobcats.com.

Friday\’s rivalry showdown 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 saleā€”and going fast! Call the Bobcat Hockey office today at (701) 222-3300 to reserve your seats for another great season of Championship Entertainment.