Saturday Night Special

BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats scored four straight goals and clamped down defensively to win their only game of the weekend by a final score of 4-1 over the Minot Minotauros Saturday at the VFW Sports Center.

With the win, the Bobcats (22-5-0, 44 pts) claim the five-game mini-series with the Tauros that spans back to Thanksgiving night by a count of four games to one and extend their divisional lead over second-place Austin (15-9-3, 33 pts) to eleven points.

Tyler Richter opened the scoring 11:14 into the game, taking a dump-off from Patrick Moore at the Minot goal line and stepping out front to jam the puck through the legs of Tauros goalie Jake Hebda for a 1-0 start for the Cats.

Frank DeAugustine doubled the lead to 2-0 with a jaw-dropping goal on the rush. Shane Omdahl entered the Minot zone on the rush and fired a 40-shot that was deflected into the air toward the front of the net; while rushing to the net, DeAugustine caught sight of the puck as it rolled through the air and swatted it at waist height inside the far post with 4:54 left in the first.

“Shane made the right play to get the puck toward the net, and—I don’t know—I just saw it,” recalled DeAugustine, who leads the Bobcats with 32 points after the goal plus an assist Saturday, “it was pretty much slow motion: it was rolling with mid-air and I was able to just get enough of it.”

“I hope that’s what he meant to do,” joked Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, “but either way, Frankie came back to the bench smiling.”

DeAugustine added his team-best 22nd helper with 10:27 remaining in the middle frame, threading a cross-ice feed on the rush to Dan Zawacki, who one-timed home his tenth goal of 2011-12 for a 3-0 Bobcat lead.

Donald Olivieri also notched his tenth of the night, crushing a rising shot over Hebda’s blocker for a commanding 4-0 lead just 47 seconds into the third.

Moments before Olivieri’s power play strike, the Philadelphia-born defenseman fired a shot that flew over the net and cracked the pane of glass directly behind the Minot net, causing a seven-minute stoppage in play after the goal.

When asked after the game which feat he was happier with—scoring on the power play or breaking the glass—he didn’t hesitate with his answer.

“The glass, definitely,” grinned Olivieri, who is now tied for the NAHL lead in goals among defensemen with Austin’s Christian Folin. “I’m just happy they didn’t notice the glass spider-webbing before I got the goal.”

Minot’s Buster Hebda, twin brother of goalie Jake, put the Tauros on the board 2:40 after Olivieri’s goal, spoiling Bobcat goalie Aaron Nelson’s shutout with a rising snap shot in traffic that Nelson didn’t get a look at to chop the lead to 4-1.

The Bobcat defense clamped down after Hebda’s marker, only allowing five Minot shots over the remaining 16-plus minutes to deliver Nelson his seventh straight win on 17 saves in front of a sellout crowd of 1,218.

Despite the low shot total, Minot tested Nelson repeatedly, including a flurry early in the second period.

“There were a lot of shots coming in through traffic, and I didn’t see a lot of them,” noted Nelson, wh trimmed his GAA to a tidy 1.82 and boosted his SV% to .926 Saturday, “so I had to get big and just try and get my body square to where I thought the shooter was.”

Hebda amassed 37 saves but could not avoid his 13th loss of the year.

The Bobcats return to action with their third-longest road trip of the year when they open a two-game set in southern Minnesota against the Austin Bruins Friday with a 7:00 PM puck drop.

Friday’s matchup of the top two teams in the Central 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 Pregame coverage gets under way at 6:30. Fans can watch the game—and all away contests—live at Reza’s Pitch at Third and Front in Bismarck, the official away game home of Bobcat Hockey.

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 for more information on reserving a pro-rated package for this season!