Bobcat Comeback Falls Short 5-4 in Aberdeen

ABERDEEN, SD–After a brilliant goal by Matt Anders capped a brilliant Bobcat comeback that forced overtime, Wings’ winger Kyle Haak tallied a backhand goal at 1:05 of overtime, sending the Aberdeen Wings to a 5-4 win over the Bismarck Bobcats at the Odde Ice Arena in Aberdeen Friday night.

Bismarck trailed 4-2 before Nate Repensky (Duluth, MN) hit on a power play to cut the lead to one at 18:19 of the third. Just 40 seconds later, Mason Van Tuyl (Champlin Park, MN), who joined the team from the affiliate list Thursday, fed Anders (Lafayette, CO), who skated into the crease and beat Wings’ goalie Chad Catt to force overtime.

Stanislav Dzakhov (Moscow, Russia) had a pair of chances early in the extra session, but a rush after his second shot saw Haak move on the left wing, then rush Bobcat netminder Aaron Nelson (Bismarck, ND) for the game-winner.

Bobcat head coach Layne Sedevie acknowledged the comeback that preserved a point in the NAHL Central Division Standings, but was quick to critique his team’s performance.

"We played well for the last five-and-a-half minutes to get a point, but we weren’t very good tonight. We will take the point, and get back to work," Sedevie remarked after the game.

Van Tuyl’s contribution was a lift for the Bobcats, who were without the services of defenders Daniel Kovar due to injury and Chris Diver due to illness. "That was one of the better performances I’ve seen. It didn’t take him long to settle in tonight. He played really well," Sedevie said.

After Tanner Okeson started the Wings’ scoring with a goal at 2:39 of the second, Tyler Dunagan (Maple Grove, MN) started a two-point night, assisting Brendan Harris (Las Vegas, NV) on the equalizer at 6:03 of the second, then answering back-to-back Aberdeen scores with a goal at 15:24 of the frame, cutting the Wings’ lead to 3-2 after two.

TJ Roo finished a crisp two-on-one, taking the pass from Jordan Heller at 9:26 of the third, rebuilding a two-goal Wings’ advantage at 4-2. The two late goals by Repensky and Anders forced extra hockey, but Catt stopped 39 Bobcat shots to hold on for the win.

Bismarck drops to 9-4-1, but earns a point for the overtime loss, and is now tied with the Wings (10-4-1) for second place in the NAHL Central Division with 21 points, one shy of Austin, the next opponent for the Bobcats. Bismarck travels to Austin next Friday and Saturday.