Bobcats Win Slugfest to Grab Series Lead

ONALASKA, WI – The Bismarck Bobcats got five points from Dan Zawacki and hung on for a wild 6-4 win over the Coulee Region Chill at the Omni Center Friday to claim a 1-0 series lead in the best-of-five Central Division Finals.

Bobcats captain Matt Gates got the visitors off on the right foot on the power play, taking a low-slot feed from Charlie Mosey and slamming it past Chill goalie Aaron Davis for a 1-0 lead 4:13 into the game.

Danny Ray knocked down the Cats’ second power play goal of the period with 4:39 remaining in the opening frame, rocketing a low wrist shot through a screen set by Gates to post the Bobcats to a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission.

Zawacki got his first goal of the night 3:19 into the second, redirecting a centering pass from Tyler Richter on a transition rush past Davis to give the Bobcats a 3-0 advantage.

The line of Zawacki, Richter and Charlie Mosey combined for ten points on Friday.

“Our line has been playing well in the postseason,” noted Zawacki, who assisted Gates and Ray’s goals in the first, “but it’s not just our group. Coach [Layne Sedevie] has found a solid combination of lines and everyone has been great.”

A Coulee Region miscue pushed the Bobcat lead to 4-0 when a Chill defender attempted to freeze a loose puck against Davis’ pads but accidentally knocked the puck into the net 38 seconds after Zawacki’s strike. Emerson Auvenshine was credited with the goal.

Tommy Miller put the Chill on the board with 6:58 to go in the second, deflecting a low shot from Chris Hughes past Bobcat netminder Ryan Faragher, chopping the lead to 4-1.

Zawacki restored the four-goal lead with the Cats’ third power play goal of the night, ripping a top-shelf snipe over Davis’ glove on a 3-on-2 rush to make it 5-1.

Berkley Scott led a one-man rally for Coulee Region to pull the second-seeded Chill back into the game, scoring twice in the last 4:01 of the period to slice the Cats’ lead in half at 5-3 heading into the third.

“I thought we stuck to our systems and played a good game for about 30 minutes, but got caught running around a bit too much late in the second,” said Sedevie. “We have some things we need to clean up a bit heading into Saturday, for sure.”

Mosey responded for the Bobcats in the third, backhanding home a Zawacki rebound 4:10 into the final frame, adding some insurance by padding the Cats’ lead to 6-3.

Eric Drapluk scored with 14 seconds left in the game as the Chill’s attempt for a rally came up short, giving the Cats their final margin of 6-4.

Special teams keyed the night for the Bobcats, who augmented a 3-for-4 night on the power play by killing off all five Coulee Region man advantages.

Faragher made 29 saves to pick up his second straight playoff win of 2011 while Davis, who also finished with 29 stops, suffered his first playoff loss in four starts.

The Central Division Finals resume with a 7:00 PM start for Game Two at the Omni Center.

Saturday’s weekend finale 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 game at Reza’s Pitch—the official away game Home of the Bobcats—at the corner of Third and Front in Bismarck.

Season tickets are now on sale for the 2011-12 season! Call the Bobcat Hockey office at (701) 222-3300 or email for more information on reserving your seats for next season!