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Bobcats Rally Comes Up Short at Home

BISMARCK, ND – Down three after two, the Bismarck Bobcats pulled themselves back into the game with a late surge but could not find an equalizer—eventually falling 6-3 Friday to the Minnesota Wilderness at the VFW Sports Center.

With the Wilderness out to a 4-1 advantage through 40 minutes, the Bobcats found a pulse 6:17 into the third on an up-ice rush that saw blueliner Jordan Fralich whip a shot through traffic that caught Minnesota netminder Trevor Micucci unprepared to bring the Cats within two at 4-2.

Despite being unable to take advantage of a four-minute double minor power play late, the Bobcats pulled within one at 4-3 with 2:07 to go when Tobias Fladeby stepped out of the right-wing corner and blazed a wrister over Micucci’s glove and in for his 21st tally of the season.

Pulling goalie Camden Haugenoe to bid for the equalizer, the Bobcats could not find footing in the Wilderness zone—eventually surrendering empty-netters to Luke Dow and Tyler Vold in the last two minutes to fall 6-3.

It was the Wilderness who scored first Friday, as well, when Charlie Parker broke the scoreless deadlock with 5:43 to go in the first, using the Bobcat defense as a screen to zip a low shot under Haugenoe’s blocker for the game’s first goal.

Just 90 seconds later the Bobcats battled back on the rush: co-captain Zach Kennedy notched his ninth marker of 2016-17 by tapping in a Cooper Haar rebound in through Micucci’s legs for a 1-1 tie.

Wilderness winger Zach Mills put the visitors back ahead at 2-1 7:13 into the second, ripping a Michael Zuffante faceoff win through traffic and in.

The game ended up hinging on a 52-second span late in the middle frame when Mills and Pavel Mikhasenok struck for back-to-back power play goals to bulge the Minnesota edge to 4-1 after two.

Haugenoe made 21 stops but could not avoid his second straight loss; Micucci picked up his fourth win against the Bobcats on 22 saves.

Now the Bobcats turn their attention to a pivotal Saturday showdown with third-place Brookings at the VFW Sports Center.

Tickets are now on sale for Saturday’s playoff-crucial tilt: fans can buy and print tickets 24 hours a day at BismarckBobcats.com or charge by phone at 222-3300.

Saturday’s showdown 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.