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Bobcats Claim 5-4 Slugfest over Bruins
 
BISMARCK, ND – Shaking off a three-goal rally by the visitors, the Bismarck Bobcats rode a searing hot power play to a three-goal third period to claim a wild 5-4 decision over the Austin Bruins Friday at the VFW Sports Center.
 
Posted to a 2-0 lead mid-way through the game, the Bobcats saw their advantage erased in a span of 40 seconds as runner-runner goals from Jon Richards and Travis Koethenbuetel leveled the score at two with 5:07 left in the second period.
 
Austin would then take their first lead of the night a mere 43 seconds into the third as Logan Haskins struck from the right wing circle to make it 3-2 for the Bruins.
 
Rookie blueliner Patrick O’Connor knotted the game at three 1:21 later with his first career goal, following up a Matt Barry shot in transition that beat Austin netminder Jake Kucharski inside the left post.
 
A power play marker from Tobias Fladeby lifted the Bobcats to a 4-3 edge as the Norwegian winger tapped home the puck out of a net-front scramble with 14:37 left in regulation.
 
The Bruins responded with a power play goal of their own: with 9:08 remaining, Haskins earned his second of the period, zipping a low liner inside the right post before Bobcat goalie Camden Haugenoe could recover for a 4-4 deadlock.
 
Yet another power play score—the Bobcats’ fourth of the night—restored a one-goal lead for the home side at 5-4 as Parker Mismash notched his team-leading fifth goal of 2016-17 by poked a loose puck through Kucharski’s legs at the 7:14 mark of the third.
 
Though the Bruins pulled Kucharski with over two minutes left to bid for the equalizer, Haugenoe and the Bobcat defense held firm to preserve a thrilling 5-4 victory.
 
For the first time all season, it was the Bobcats who drew first blood Friday when Jared Resseguie threw a cross-ice pass intended for Fladeby that pinballed off of an Austin defender and in with just four seconds left in the opening stanza.
 
Fladeby pushed the score to 2-0 5:18 into the second, ripping a one-timer on the power play from Mismash just 13 seconds into the Cats’ fourth man advantage, setting the stage for Friday’s see-saw finish.
 
All told, the Bobcats went 4-for-7 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill in the win.
 
Haugenoe turned in 30 saves to improve to 2-0-0 on his rookie campaign. Kucharski slipped to 1-2-1 despite 31 stops.
 
The two sides will reconvene Saturday for a 7:15pm rematch at the VFW Sports Center to close out their two-game weekend series.
 
Tickets for Saturday’s tilt are now on sale: fans can buy and print tickets 24 hours a day at BismarckBobcats.com or charge-by-phone at 222-3300.
 
Saturday’s series finale 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 6:45pm.
 
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.

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