ABERDEEN, SD–Ways to win games are proving elusive to the Bobcats.
Bismarck peppered Aberdeen goalie Chad Catt (Williamstown, MI) with 46 shots Friday night, but he stopped 45 of them, and TJ Roo (Coon Rapids, MN) scored twice to push the Wings past the Bobcats 2-1 at Odde Ice Center.
Aberdeen (13-6-1) moved to 27 points in the NAHL Central Division , four ahead of the Bobcats for second place. Bismarck (11-7-1) also lost ground on front-running Austin, who defeated Brookings to take a nine-point lead on the Bobcats. All four games between the two teams have been decided by a single goal.
Joonas Huovinen (Oulu, Finland) scored the lone Bobcat goal at of the third, taking a Brendan Harris (Las Vegas, NV) up-ice feed and slashing to his forehand side to beat Catt’s glove hand, a glove that stopped the vast majority of Bismarck opportunities.
Bobcat goalie Aaron Nelson (Bismarck, ND) recorded 35 saves in the loss, outdone by the performance of Catt, who entered the game with a .955 saves percentage and a 1.58 goals against average, numbers that were third best in the NAHL.
Roo found the net first by tipping a Ryan Cook (Lancaster, NY) blast from the right point by Nelson at 3:56 of the second for the first goal of the night. With time winding down, he tallied the game winner on a pass by Jonathan Rebosky (Oakdale, PA) and backhanding the puck on the glove side of Nelson at 17:40 of the third.
The game ended in controversy, as the Bobcats threw the extra attacker at Aberdeen for over a minute-and-a-half. On their final attack the puck became frozen under a mass of bodies on the top of the Wing crease, and it appeared that nearly three seconds of clock was allowed to run after the whistle. After a lengthy discussion by the officials and several players, along with an initial celebration by the Wings and subsequent clearing of the ice, the officials decided the game was over.
The two teams meet again Saturday night, with faceoff scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Pregame coverage will begin at 6:50 p.m. on Supertalk 1270 KLXX.