BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats rallied twice from one-goal deficits to the visiting Owatonna Express, but it was the Express who came away with a 3-2 overtime win over the Bobcats at the VFW Sports Center Saturday.
The overtime defeat gave the Bobcats three of four possible points against Owatonna on the weekend; the Bobcats finished their seven-game homestand with a 6-0-1 mark.
For the second straight night, it was the visitors who opened the scoring as Express forward Jake Youso tipped a power play shot from defenseman Tim Smith past Bobcat goalie Ryan Faragher just 4:26 into the game.
The Bobcats battled back with 8:30 left in the first on Brett Bower’s second goal of the weekend; Bower took a transition feed from Jason Fabian and slid it under Express netminder Michael Webb to tie the game at one.
Owatonna broke the tie just 34 seconds later, however, as Brian McGinty notched his second of the weekend, getting a favorable roll from a bad angle off Faragher and in to make it 2-1 Express.
The 2-1 margin held up through the rest of the first, all of the second, and 11:25 into the third period before Bobcat forward Dominic Panetta plunked a rebound off Express defenseman Marian Fiala and in for a 2-2 tie.
“I had three or four whacks at the puck,” recalled Panetta, “and I probably should’ve scored on the first few—but I end up getting it in on the one I shouldn’t have. It was a good bounce, so I feel a little lucky.”
The Bobcats dominated the third period, outshooting the Express 9-3 but could not solve Webb after Panetta’s equalizer, forcing overtime.
The Bobcats carried the play through the first two minutes of extra time, but with 2:23 left in OT, Express defenseman Jake Suter ripped a shot through traffic and past a screened-out Faragher to merit a split for Owatonna.
With the overtime loss, the Bobcats (22-8-7, 51 pts) pick up one point in the Central Division standings but see their lead over the Express (18-12-3, 39 pts) shaved to 12 points.
Faragher finished with 21 saves but slipped to 16-4-6 on the 2009-10 campaign; Webb picked up his first win of the year on 24 saves.
With the seven-game homestand now in the rearview mirror, the Bobcats open up a home-and-home series with the third-place Alexandria Blizzard on Friday on the road at the Runestone Center for a 7:00 PM faceoff.
Friday’s contest will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide at BismarckBobcats.com via B2 Networks. The pre-game show starts at 6:30 PM.
You won\’t want to miss any of the games this season, so order your Season Tickets, Family Packs and Group Nights today by calling the Bobcat Hockey Office at 701-222-3300 or by e-mailing the office for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.