BISMARCK, ND–Two goals 57 seconds apart powered the Bismarck Bobcats to a 3-1 win over the Minot Minotauros Friday night at the VFW Sports Center.
The win kept the Bobcats (9-3-0) unbeaten at home this season, owning the league’s best record on home ice at 7-0. With two more points in the league standings, Bismarck remains a point outside of second-place Aberdeen and two behind first-place Austin.
Huba Sekesi (Munich, Germany) scored a power-play goal at 4:57 of the second period, building 2-0 Bobcat lead. Cullen Willox (Eagen, MN), rewarded with a start after impressive minutes last weekend, then tallied at 5:54 of the period, capturing momentum the Bobcats would never relinquish.
"I feel good for Cullen. He’s been one of the hardest working guys in practice. We had four lines working again tonight, and that was good to see," said Bobcat head coach Layne Sedevie.
After the first four minutes saw the Minotauros in the Bobcat end of the ice, Minot struggled to catch it’s breath, with the Bobcats outshooting the Minotauros 20-7 in the first 20 minutes. Filip Starzynski (Warsaw, Poland) knocked in the first goal of the night, taking a pass from Nate Repensky (Duluth, MN) at center ice and splitting two defenders to beat Minot goalie Merrick Madsen at 14:13 of the first for a 1-0 Bobcat lead.
Repensky and Starzynski then teamed to assist on Sekesi’s goal, moving Starzynski to 18 points this season, and Repensky to 16 points. Both players entered the weekend in the top eight in scoring in the NAHL.
Play evened between the two teams after Willox’s goal. Minot’s Jack Forbort scored at 11:21 of the second, cutting the lead to 3-1. After Ryan Callahan’s (Grafton, ND) high-sticking infraction with 1:37 to play, the Bobcats had to withstand 6-on-4 hockey as the Minotauros pulled Madsen for the extra attacker.
"I thought we played well for about 30 minutes," commented Sedevie. "We need to learn how to play a full sixty. Teams that have success, no matter what level, play 60 full minutes of hockey.
Aaron Nelson (Bismarck, ND), the reigning NAHL Central Division Easton Star of the Week, stopped 17 shots in earning his ninth win of the season.
The Bobcats start a four-game road trip Saturday by visiting Minot to complete the home-and-home weekend. Faceoff is scheduled for 8:05 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on Supertalk 1270 KLXX-AM.