Grand Blank

Balanced Attack Helps Nelson, Bobcats Blank Wings

BISMARCK, ND — Aaron Nelson piled up 29 saves for his fourth shutout of the season as the Bismarck Bobcats stifled Aberdeen Wings 3-0 Friday at the VFW Sports Center.

Scoreless through the majority of the first period, the Bobcats pulled ahead 1-0 with 24 seconds to go in the opening frame on a mind-bending goal by forward Matt Pohlkamp, who kicked the puck through multiple defenders and lifted a backhand shot over Aberdeen netminder Chad Catt.

\”What a special play by Matt, who has been a big boost for our offense,\” credited Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, whose squad improved to 8-1-0 on the year against the Wings. \”Bob [Kinne] set it all up with a great forecheck on the tail end of a penalty kill then Matty did the rest.\”

Neither team could break through in the second period, despite the Bobcats volleying 16 shots Catt\’s way.

Matt Anders added a big insurance tally 6:01 into the third, taking a back-door pass from newcomer Seth Blair and zipping it into a largely open net to extend the lead to 2-0.

Aberdeen, though, had a chance to come back in the final 10 minutes with a 5-on-3 power play, but Nelson denied the Wings\’ leading scorer, Justin Parizek, with 8:37 to go in regulation on a sprawling left-to-right kick save to hold the lead at 2-0.

\”That save was a game-changer,\” lauded Sedevie, a former professional and collegiate goaltender himself, \”because if that score gets to 2-1 at that point, it\’s a whole different game.\”

Red-hot rookie Cory Chapman put the finishing touches on the game for the Bobcat offense, finding a seam across the goal line on the power play and stuffing the puck through Catt\’s legs for the final margin of 3-0.

With the goal and the secondary assist on Anders\’ tally, Chapman now has seven goals and eight assists in his last 18 games to pull into sixth place on the Cats\’ scoring list with 21 total points.

Nelson nailed down 14 stops in the third period to secure the shutout and his 19th win of the season. Catt ended up turning away 36 of 39 Bobcat attempts but couldn\’t avoid his seventh loss of 2012-13.

Friday proved to be a valuable night in the standings for the Bobcats (27-14-4, 58 pts), who both gained ground on first-place Austin (33-8-6, 72 pts)–3-2 losers in the shootout to Minot–and wrestled sole possession of second place away from Brookings (26-16-4, 56 pts), who dropped a 5-2 decision at Coulee Region.

Both sides will reconvene Saturday at the Odde Ice Center for the Aberdeen leg of the weekend\’s home-and-home series with a 7:15 PM rematch. It will be the Cats\’ final visit to Aberdeen in the regular season.

Saturday\’s series finale will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide on the official internet television partner of the NAHL, FASTHockey, at http://nahl.fasthockey.com. Pregame coverage gets under way at 6:45 PM.

Pro-rated season tickets for the 2012-13 season are now on saleā€”and going fast! Call the Bobcat Hockey office today at (701) 222-3300 to reserve your seats for another great season of Championship Entertainment.