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Iceman Cometh

Isokangas, Bobcats Lock Down Aberdeen
 
ABERDEEN, SD – Returning to the starting lineup after four games, goalie Severi Isokangas stopped all 31 shots sent his way Saturday to earn the Bismarck Bobcats their first shutout of the season as the Cats knocked off the Aberdeen Wings 2-0 at Odde Ice Center, halting the Wings’ eight-game win streak.
 
Neither team was able to get on the board in the first, as Isokangas and Forbes Ploszaj—his Aberdeen counterpart—combined for 19 saves, dueling back and forth with highlight reel saves on opposing transition rushes and power plays.
 
In the second, the Bobcats broke Ploszaj’s spell with 12:42 on the clock as a broken power play rush bounced off the stick of Michael Mahan and straight to Cooper Haar, who hurried a backhand stuff through Ploszaj’s legs to lift the visitors to a 1-0 lead.
 
Aberdeen had a golden opportunity to tie the game with 1:58 left in the middle frame when Carson Dimoff was awarded a penalty shot during a Wings penalty kill; Isokangas, however, kicked away Dimoff’s backhand attempt on the untimed breakaway to maintain a one-goal advantage for the Cats.
 
Bobcat center Matt Barry added some major insurance with just nine seconds left in the period, breaking up the right wing on a shorthanded 2-on-2 with Jared Resseguie before dekeing through the slot and beating Ploszaj stick side with a rising backhander for a 2-0 Bobcat edge heading into the intermission. The goal gave the Naperville, Ill., native his 40th point of 2016-17.
 
Special teams carried the third period, with each team awarded three power plays—just as they were in the first—but neither team was able to strike with a man advantage in the final frame.
 
Two late penalties derailed the Wings’ hopes for a comeback as the home side only put one offering on net for Isokangas in the last four minutes of the contest that the Finnish backstop was able to turn away to lock down his fifth win with a 2-0 final.
 
Ploszaj made 22 saves but could not avoid his first loss all year to the Bobcats.
 
Now the scene shifts to the VFW Sports Center for a Friday rematch to open a two-game home weekend set between the Bobcats and Wings to wrap up their 2016-17 season series.
 
Tickets are now on sale for the final two regular season meetings between the inter-Dakota rivals: fans can buy and print tickets 24 hours a day at BismarckBobcats.com or charge by phone at 222-3300.
 
Friday’s home throwdown 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 6:50pm.
 
Pro-rated 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.

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