Coffee is for Closers

Late Lead Slips Away for Bobcats in OT Loss

ABERDEEN, SD – Twice posted to two-goal leads Saturday, the Bismarck Bobcats could not hold on, falling 4-3 in overtime to the Aberdeen Wings at the Odde Ice Center.

Scoreless through the first 35 minutes of play on Saturday, the Bobcats broke through on a 5-on-3 power play when Tobias Fladeby snapped home a one-timer on a cross-ice pass from Parker Mismash with 4:32 left in the second for a 1-0 lead.

Before the back end of the same power play could expire, Austin Junger capitalized on a broken play, one-timing a puck that bounced off of Ashton Altmann’s skates through the five-hole of Wings backstop Arttu Kulmala to make it 2-0 just 30 seconds after Fladeby’s strike.

Aberdeen answered right back on the ensuing shift when Carter Roo found Joey Strada alone at the left post to tap in a wide-open backhander to cut the Cats’ edge to 2-1 and cap a wild 61 seconds of hockey.

Mismash pushed the visitors’ advantage back out to two goals at 3-1 a mere 48 seconds into the third, slamming in a Jordan Fralich rebound for his team-best eighth goal of the year.

Back-to-back goals in a 3:46 span from Wings forwards Trey Bagwell and Carson Dimoff quickly erased the home side’s deficit, forcing overtime.

Though the Bobcats possessed the puck for nearly the entire first minute of the extra frame, a turnover at the Aberdeen blueline freed Strada for a breakaway that swept in from the left-wing wall. The 5-foot-6 rookie managed to catch Bobcat goalie Will Ulrich leaning just far enough off the left post to squeeze a close range shot in, dealing the Bobcats a stunning 4-3 defeat.

Ulrich could not avoid his second straight loss despite 31 saves on the night. Kulmala evened his record at 6-6-0 behind 27 stops.

The Bobcats will try and bounce back at 7:05pm Friday when they return to Riverside Arena to open a two-game series with the Austin Bruins.

Friday’s rivalry dustup will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270 AM, and worldwide on HockeyTV.com–the web television partner of the North American Hockey League–with pregame coverage starting at 6:35pm.

Season tickets are now on sale for the Bobcats’ landmark platinum anniversary campaign fans can get more information or reserve their seats for all of Season Twenty now by calling 222-3300.