Bobcats Drop Home Opener 3-1

BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats celebrated their 2009-10 Robertson Cup championship before a sold-out crowd at the VFW Sports Center on Friday, but it was the 2010-11 version of the Alexandria Blizzard who stole the show, pulling away late to claim a 3-1 victory at Coors Light Opening Night.

As the teams did 12 times during the 2009-10 season, the Bobcats and Blizzard battled to a scoreless draw through the first period of play behind strong goaltending from Ryan Faragher and Jacob Meyers, respectively.

It would be the Bobcats, however, who would blink first in this long-standing Central Division rivalry as Alex Altenbernd found Steve Zierke wide open in front of Faragher’s net with 14:52 left to go in the second period to boost Alexandria to a 1-0 lead.

The Bobcats were quick to answer as Nick Miglio tallied his first score in a Bobcat uniform, guiding a transition snap shot through traffic and under Meyers’ glove with just 1:39 after Zierke’s go-ahead marker to knot the score at one.

Unfortunately for the Bobcats, Zierke and the Blizzard dominated the scoring in the game’s third period as Zierke scored 9:11 into the frame on a broken-down 2-on-1, rolling a bad-angle, off-balance shot off Faragher and into the net to restore Alexandria’s lead to 2-1.

Blizzard leading scorer Nardo Nagtzaam added some late insurance on the Alexandria power play, taking a short-post feed from Mike Krieg and depositing a low shot through Faragher’s legs with 1:57 left in the game for the final margin.

The win marks the Blizzard’s first victory in Bismarck since April 4th, 2009, a 3-0 playoff triumph in the Central Division Semifinals.

For the Bobcats, it was their fifth loss in their last seven home openers.

Before the contest, the Bobcats celebrated their first-ever Robertson Cup title by raising their 2009-10 League and Division championship banners as well as their USA Hockey Tier II Junior “A” banner in the northeast corner of the VFW Sports Center, with help from NAHL commissioner Mark Frankenfeld, who was on hand for the festivities.

After the banners were unfurled, 2009-10 Bobcats head coach Byron Pool helped hand out national championship rings to returning Bobcats players, visiting alumni as well as his protégé and current Bobcats head coach Layne Sedevie.

The Bobcats will play their first true road game of 2010-11 on Saturday as they make the relatively short trek to South Dakota to take on the Aberdeen Wings at 7:15 PM at Odde Arena.

The road opener will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide at Pre-game coverage for the game will begin at 6:45 PM CT.

Season tickets are now on sale for the 2010-11 season! Call the Bobcat Hockey office at (701) 222-3300 or email for more information on reserving your seats for the entire season as the Bobcats look to defend the Robertson Cup!