Bobcats Sweep Express with 4-3 Overtime Triumph

OWATONNA, MN – The Bismarck Bobcats overcame two different deficits—including one imposed on them with less than three minutes left—and outlasted the Owatonna Express for a 4-3 overtime win Saturday, sweeping the Express.

It is the first time in the history of either franchise that the Cats have pulled off a two-game sweep at the Four Seasons Centre.

Trailing 2-0 mid-way through the second period, the Bobcats started their long climb back on a power play after Owatonna forward T.J. Christenson was sent off for a dangerous charging penalty on Bobcat defender John Furgele.

On the ensuing power play, forward Nikolaj Rosenthal deked around two Owatonna defenders and slid a cross-ice feed to Matt Gates. Gates rocketed a one-time blast past Express goalie Charles Williams to pull the Cats to within 2-1 with 9:15 left in the second period.

The 2-1 score persisted until over halfway through the third, when the Bobcats found themselves again on the power play. During the man advantage, Pat Coyne attempted to feed Frank DeAugustine with a back-door pass but the puck deflected back to defenseman Tom Rizzardo; as Williams attempted to play the pass to DeAugustine, Rizzardo beamed a 40-foot slap shot that deflected off the goalie’s glove and into the net for a 2-2 tie with 7:25 left in regulation.

Owatonna pulled back ahead at 3-2 late after Gates and DeAugustine were whistled on back-to-back penalties as Nick Widing put back a Ben Persian rebound with 1:54 to go.

The Bobcats regrouped and, following a Beau Burgau holding minor 12 seconds after Widing’s go-ahead marker, pulled Ryan Faragher to skate 5-on-4 with the empty net. On the ensuing faceoff, Dan Zawacki won the puck back to Rizzardo, who threaded a low snap shot through traffic and between Williams’ legs to restore the tie game with 1:39 showing on the third period timer—forcing overtime.

In the extra frame, a Bobcat clear-in bounced off Gates and came to Rosenthal alongside the Owatonna net. Rosenthal pulled free to the low slot and fired a rising wrist shot over Williams’ glove to boost the Bobcats to the 4-3 road victory.

The Express built their 2-0 lead in the first half of the game on a first period goal from Ben Persian and a second period strike from Chris Bournazos.

Bobcat netminder Ryan Faragher made 22 saves on the way to his—and his team’s—fourth straight victory.

Williams was the tough-luck loser for the second-straight night, making 32 saves but slipping to 5-3-2.

Saturday’s win extended the Bobcats’ (10-6-1, 21 pts) first place lead in the Central Division over both the Express (8-7-2, 18 pts) and the Coulee Region Chill (8-4-2, 18 pts).

The Bobcats return to action Friday at 7:15 PM when they open a two-game series at Odde Ice Center against the Aberdeen Wings.

Friday’s contest will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide at As with all away games during the 2010-11 season, fans are encouraged to view the games each night at Reza’s Pitch—the official away game Home of the Bobcats—at the corner of Third and Front in Bismarck. Pre-game coverage 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!