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Reversal of Fortune

Bobcats’ Fast Start Spoiled by Brookings Rally

BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats saw an early lead go by the boards Friday, conceding five straight goals to drop a 5-1 decision to the Brookings Blizzard at the VFW Sports Center, losing ground in the crowded Central Division playoff chase.

Less than 10 minutes into the game the Bobcats jumped ahead 1-0 when winger Michael Mahan took a net-front pass from Cooper Haar and jammed a looping close-range shot through contact over the glove of Brookings netminder Josh Boyko with 11:11 left in the opening period,

Seizing momentum out of a TV timeout, Brookings tied the game at one 1:44 after Mahan’s marker: getting a goal on a 3-on-2 rush when Paul Cotter beat Severi Isokangas five-hole with a 30-foot snap shot.

Just 16 seconds into the middle frame, Brookings took a 2-1 advantage when Connor Koviak fought through contact in front of the Bobcat net to tap a Cotter centering effort through Isokangas’ legs.

Three missed chances after Koviak’s marker—including Grant Johnson ringing the cross-bar—proved pivotal for the Bobcats as the Blizzard doubled their lead to 3-1 with 4:22 to go in the second when Derek Hammer dove to his right to swing home a Brandon Kruse rebound.

Brookings took firm control in the third, getting goals from Cade Borchardt and Parker Revering to drop the Cats into a 5-1 hole.

Though the Cats emptied the net in the game’s final four minutes, they could not crack Boyko again—falling 5-1 Friday.

The loss proved doubly damaging for the Bobcats (25-26-2, 52 pts) in the playoff chase: not only did they drop seven points behind the third-place Blizzard (27-20-5, 59 pts), but also slid to a four-point deficit behind Aberdeen (26-23-4, 56 pts) for the fourth and final postseason spot in the Central.

Now the Cats will try to bounce back Saturday with their third-to-last home game of the season with a rematch against the Blizzard. It will also be the Cats’ eighth annual Brave the Shave Night, where the team will wear special edition jerseys that will be auctioned off to benefit the fight against pediatric cancer.

Bobcat players and staff will also shave their heads in solidarity with region children fighting cancer over the course of the night.

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

Saturday’s critical grudge match 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.