Road Test: Passed

MINOT, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats picked up two late third period goals and hung on for a 4-3 nail-biter win against the expansion Minot Minotauros Saturday at Maysa Arena to run their early-season win streak to four games.

“It definitely wasn’t the best game we’ve had this year, but we’re happy to walk away with two points,” admitted Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie. “There was a great crowd in here with the feel of a home opener, so we have to look at the weekend as a big success: going into two hostile environments and getting two wins.”

With the game tied over half way through the third period, the Bobcats broke the deadlock when Filip Starzynski got a point-blank tip of a Jeremy O’Keefe point shot, redirecting the puck through the legs of Tauros goalie Tim Shaughnessy for a 3-2 Bobcat lead with 8:52 left in regulation.

Castan Sommer doubled the lead to 4-2 3:38 later with his second of the night in transition, popping home a loose puck after linemate Patrick Moore was able to keep the play alive by gloving the biscuit out of mid-air while nearly behind the net and shoving it into Shaughnessy’s pads for Sommer to finish up.

Minot pulled back to a one-goal game with 4:26 to go when Jack McCartan wristed a 25-foot shot toward the net that glanced off a Bobcat defender’s stick and deflected into the top corner of Tommy Burke’s net for a 4-3 contest.

Burke made seven big saves after McCartan’s tally to make the lead stand up, finishing with 30 saves on the night for his fifth win of 2011-12, tying him for fourth in the league in wins.

“If there’s one guy whose game I was 100% pleased with out there, it’s Tommy Burke,” credited Sedevie. “He doesn’t make highlight reel saves and he doesn’t rob guys, but that’s because he doesn’t have to; he’s always in the right spot to make a big stop for us.”

Tyler Richter opened the scoring for the Bobcats 10:14 into the first, beaming a low liner through traffic off a Frank DeAugustine centering feed to quiet the announced crowd of 1,800 and give the Cats a 1-0 edge.

A defensive zone turnover by the Bobcats, however, led to a tie game when Alex Chuhel fed Derek Tylka for a short breakaway and goal with 8:23 to go in the first.

Sommer netted a power play goal with 30 seconds left in the first that was answered by a power play marker from Minot’s Matt Lindquist 6:30 into the second for a 2-2 game heading into the third period, setting the stage for the late-game dramatics.

Shaughnessy managed 29 saves but had to settle for his third loss of the young season.

The Bobcats now set out for their longest road trip of the season, traveling 1200 miles to take on the Dawson Creek Rage in a two-game series at Encana Events Center—starting Friday at 9:00 PM CT.

The Cats’ first trip north of the border since visiting the Fernie Ghostriders in 2004 will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide on the official internet television partner of the NAHL, FASTHockey, at http://nahl.fasthockey.com. Pregame coverage gets under way at 6:45 on Friday and 7:05 on Saturday.

Season tickets are now on sale for the 2011-12 season—and going fast! Call the Bobcat Hockey office at (701) 222-3300 or email gobobcathockey@aol.com for more information on reserving your seats for the upcoming season!

BOBCAT HOCKEY

2011 CENTRAL DIVISION CHAMPIONS