Huge Second Period Carries Bobcats

BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats rode a four-goal second period to their first home win of the 2010-11 season as the defending champs dumped the visiting Alexandria Blizzard 5-2 Saturday at the VFW Sports Center.

After battling to a scoreless tie after one in their second consecutive contest against the Blizzard, the Bobcats popped in the game’s first goal 2:41 into the second period when George Malliaras tucked a 25-foot wrister through traffic and inside the far post of Alexandria goalie Jacob Meyers’ net for a 1-0 lead for the Cats.

“Tonight was a huge step in the right direction,” noted Malliaras, a second-year forward out of Palos Hills, Ill. “We wanted to take the game to them physically and intimidate them. Coach [Layne] Sedevie told us before the game he wanted us to have sixty hits tonight. We came out hard and put them on their heels in the first period and that opened things up for us in the second.”

Alexandria responded less than two minutes later when Tucker Coborn banged a Nardo Nagtzaam rebound through Bobcat netminder Ryan Faragher’s legs to force a 1-1 tie just 4:33 into the second.

The Bobcats answered right back to reclaim the lead in the clash of Central Division heavyweights when Bismarck defender Danny Ray split two Blizzard defensemen with a slick move at the Alexandria blueline before feeding a backdoor feed to Matt Gates, who slammed home the pass to put the Cats up 2-1 only 1:13 after Coborn’s equalizer.

Tyler Richter followed Gates’ score with a tally of his own 21 seconds later, beaming a long transition blast under Meyers’ glove to push the lead to 3-1 and draw a timeout from Blizzard head coach Doc DelCastillo.

Alexandria closed the gap to 3-2 with 5:08 left in the second on a 5-on-3 power play as Michael Pieper launched a 20-foot slap shot that deflected straight up off Faragher’s shoulder and rolled into the Bobcat net.

The Bobcats would regain the two-goal lead, however, when Frankie DeAugustine picked up a partially blocked Charlie Mosey shot and rolled the loose change through Gates’ legs with just 29 seconds left in the middle frame for a 4-2 lead.

Mosey tacked on some insurance for the Bobcats late in the game, deflecting home a power play shot from the point by Ray with 9:50 to go in regulation.

“That’s a play we’ve been developing in practice for a while now,” said Mosey, the Bobcats’ leading scorer (5-5-10), “and finally we got it to work. [The Blizzard] gave Danny a lot of room and he found me in a little quiet spot beside the net with a perfect shot to deflect.”

The Bobcat penalty kill and forecheck held the Blizzard at bay for the remainder of the game, forcing long, easy-to-see shots in on Faragher in the defensive end and eating up big chunks of time in the offensive zone to preserve the 5-2 victory.

Faragher stopped 35 Alexandria attempts to improve to 3-2-1 on the young season.

“We weren’t accepting anything less than a win tonight,” said Faragher. “We wanted this game for us, for our coaches and especially the fans. Everyone gave a great effort, and that’s how you win games in the Central Division.”

Meyers took the loss, falling to 1-1-1, with 19 saves.

The Bobcats’ penalty kill shut down 10 of 11 Alexandria power plays—the Blizzard had come into the game as the league’s power play leader with a 26.7% efficiency rating. Bismarck’s power play, on the other hand, was a tidy 1-for-3.

“We had some trouble with the referees and staying disciplined with the way they were calling the game tonight,” admitted Sedevie. “But we fought through it and gave our best effort of the year. It was an important win to pick up.”

The Bobcats hit the road for their first swing through southern Minnesota next weekend with two games in Austin before a Sunday matinee in Owatonna. The road trip kicks off with a 7:35 PM contest against the expansion Austin Bruins Friday night.

The contest will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide at Pre-game coverage will begin at 7:05 PM CT.

Season tickets are now on sale for the 2010-11 season! Call the Bobcat Hockey office at (701) 222-3300 or email for more information on reserving your seats for the entire season as the Bobcats look to defend the Robertson Cup!