Bobcats Overcome Slow Start to Top Rebels 5-3
BLAINE, MN – Giving up an opening-minute goal was not enough to deter the Bismarck Bobcats, who scored four straight then held off a furious rally by the Aston Rebels for a 5-3 victory Thursday on the second day NAHL Showcase action at the Schwan Super Rink.
Aston wasted no time getting on the board Thursday, taking a 1-0 lead just 49 seconds into the game off a faceoff win as winger Shawn McMahon ripped a rising snap shot under the cross bar.
The Bobcats shook off the rocky opening minute and pulled even at one with 9:35 left in the first as newcomer Tanner Vescio hit a streaking Joey Sardina for a back-door redirect equalizer.
A power play yielded the Cats a 2-1 lead as Matt Barry collected a cross-ice pass from Nick Alexander and slammed in a one-timer from the left wing at the 7:06 mark.
Just over a minute after missing a scoring opportunity off the crossbar, Barry picked up his second of the game with 23 seconds left in the first, throwing a low shot from the left faceoff dot that deflected off Rebel netminder Mareks Mitens and in for a 3-1 Bobcat advantage after one.
Second-year forward Nick Alexander stretched it to a 4-1 score a mere 30 seconds into the middle frame, blocking a point shot on the penalty kill and streaking through the Aston defense and beating Mitens five-hole on the ensuing breakaway for his second shorthanded strike of the year—ending Mitens’ day as the Latvian was lifted in favor of Jordan Greenfield-Flemon.
On that same Aston power play, the Rebels drew back within two at 4-2 as Drew Solomon weaved a low shot through traffic that Bobcat goalie Camden Haugenoe could not track with 19:11 left in the second.
In the third, Rebel forward Andrew Bellant rushed the Bobcat end and sent a snap shot inside the right post to make it a one-goal contest at 4-3 with a full 13:48 left on the clock.
After Bellant’s marker, Haugenoe turned away the next eight shots sent his way and Parker Mismash notched an empty-netter with 17 seconds left in regulation to give the Bobcats a 5-3 victory.
Haugenoe, a product of Williston High, made 23 stops to win his NAHL debut. Mitens took the loss on just eight saves; Greenfield-Flemon stopped all 12 shots he faced but did not factor into the decision.
Friday will see the Bobcats meet the Wichita Falls Wildcats at 4:15pm in a rematch of May’s Robertson Cup Semifinals.
The afternoon grudge match will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270 AM, and worldwide on FASTHockey.com–the web television partner of the North American Hockey League–with pregame coverage starting at 3:45pm.
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.