Brown’s Hat Trick Keys Bobcats’ 7-3 Win at Minot
MINOT, ND – Winger Willie Brown scored once in each period to help the Bismarck Bobcats pull away to a 7-3 victory Friday over the Minot Minotauros at Maysa Arena.
It didn’t take long for the Cats to get the scoring started Friday: just 2:38 into the game, center Aaron Herdt got a mid-slot redirect on a Joe Tyran point shot that eluded Minotauros goalie Lucas Murray for a fast 1-0 Bobcat lead.
Brown pushed the score to 2-0 with 13:34 left in the first, grabbing a centering feed from Travis Wood and beating Murray from eight feet out for his first of the night.
Shortly after Brown’s marker, Murray was lifted for tandem partner Jon Flakne—ending the night having allowed two goals on five shots.
Minot got on the board with 4:14 remaining in the frame on the power play as Christian Mohs hit Chase Springman with a back-door pass that the veteran forward buried on a one-timer to cut the Cats’ advantage to 2-1.
Springman’s tally halted a 138 minute and 19 second stretch of shutout hockey for Bobcat netminder Hunter Shepard, who did not allow a goal in two starts the previous week.
The Bobcats’ power play, however, dialed up a response with just 17 seconds to go in the first as Jared Pike chopped home a Jordan Fralich rebound to reclaim the two-score cushion at 3-1.
Pike wasted no time following up in the second, stealing the puck after a Minot defender broke his stick and blistering a rising snap shot over Flakne’s glove and in for a more comfortable 4-1 margin.
Off a successful faceoff in the offensive zone, Tyran made 5-1 with 10:51 on the clock in the middle stanza, threading a 60-foot wrister through traffic and inside the left post for his career-high third score of the season.
With 1:56 left in the second, Brown gave the Bobcats a commanding 6-1 lead, streaking into the slot from the right wing and lifting a backhand across his body that beat Flakne glove side.
Tempers boiled over almost immediately in the third, with the two teams combining for 69 penalty minutes in the game’s final frame—including a fight just 18 seconds into the period.
Just as Pike did a period earlier, Grayson Gavin scored for the Minotauros when a divot in the ice caused Cole Souto to fall down and lose the puck, giving Gavin a short breakaway that resulted in the rookie’s his third goal of the year with 10:55 left in the game.
Just 24 seconds later, Brown delivered the Bobcats’ response, burying a cross-ice pass from Wood on a 2-on-1 rush to complete the hat trick—the first of the year for the Cats—and bring the score to 7-2.
Steven Mather got the last goal of the game, popping home a Derek Frentz rebound on a shorthanded 2-on-1 with 6:52 remaining in the game, but Minot would get no closer and the Cats would take the contest 7-3.
Despite losing his shutout streak, Shepard collected his 17th win of 2015-16 behind 28 saves. Because of the Minotauros’ third-period goals, Flakne wound up with the loss—falling to 6-6-2 on 14 stops.
Now the scene shifts to the VFW Sports Center for Saturday’s leg of the weekend’s home-and-home for a 7:15pm puck drop between the Bobcats and Minotauros.
Tickets are available for Saturday’s rematch: fans can buy and print their tickets 24 hours a day at BismarckBobcats.com, by clicking “Shop Now” on the team Facebook page or charge-by-phone at 222-3300.
Saturday’s passage in the Battle of Highway 83 will be broadcast live locally on SuperTalk 1270, KLXX-AM, the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, and worldwide online at NAHL.FASTHockey.com—the official web television partner of the North American Hockey League—with pregame coverage starting at 6:45pm.
Season tickets are still on sale for the 2015-16 season at a pro-rated price; if you want to beat the rush of over 40,000 fans for this year, now is the time! Call 222-3300 to reserve your seats today.