No Leaf Clover

Bobcats Slip up to Start Road Swing
 
MINOT, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats could not solve goaltender Atte Tolvanen, who made 24 saves for the Minot Minotauros Tuesday as the Cats fell 4-0 to open up their final road week of the 2014-15 regular season.
 
When the Bobcats struggled to clear their own zone early in the first, Minot pounced as Nick Monfils jammed the puck through netminder Alex Bitsakis with 12:22 left in the frame to make it 1-0 Minot.
 
Bitsakis did his level-best to keep it a one-goal game in the second, making back-to-back highlight reel saves on Colton Kramer and Chase Springman before the half-way mark of the period.
 
Kramer, however, finally broke through with 7:08 left in the middle stanza, grabbing a backdoor pass from Quinn Fuchs on a 3-on-2 rush and beating Bitsakis inside the right post to double the lead to 2-0.
 
In the third, another defensive zone turnover by the Bobcats resulted in a Minot goal from James Mathias on another net-front scramble, similar to Monfils’ tally in the first.
 
Springman put a cap on the scoring in a controversial strike that the Bobcat bench argued went under a lifted net on the rush. The referees and linesmen consulted with each other and the goal judge and awarded the goal with 12:47 left in regulation.
 
Minot’s defense took it from there, not allowing a shot in the final eight minutes of regulation to deliver Tolvanen’s second home shutout of the Bobcats this season by a 4-0 count.
 
Despite an eye-popping 42 saves, Bitsakis slipped to 15-12-2; it marked the second time in five nights the Montreal, Quebec, native wound up on the wrong side of a shutout.
 
The Cats still sit two points from wrapping up the third seed in the Central Division playoffs, with one last road weekend looming as they head east to take on the Midwest’s Minnesota Wilderness for Friday and Saturday night tilts at Northwoods Credit Union Arena.
 
Live coverage of Friday’s series opener will begin at 6:40pm locally on SuperTalk 1270, KLXX-AM, the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, and worldwide online at NAHL.FASTHockey.com, the official web television partner of the North American Hockey League.
 
Stay tuned to BismarckBobcats.com later this week for 2015 Robertson Cup Playoff ticket information!