Second Act

Three-Goal Second Propels Bobcats to Road Win
 
BROOKINGS, SD – The Bismarck Bobcats’ power play provided a big second period punch and then the defense hung on late as the Cats edged the Brookings Blizzard 4-3 Friday at Larson Ice Center for their fourth consecutive win away from home.
 
Tied at one after the first, the Bobcats took the lead for good just 2:46 on their third power play of the night as J.M. Piotrowski took an entry feed from Joe Tyran off the back wall and squeezed it in between the right post and Brookings goalie Ryan Kubic to make it a 2-1 game.
 
Logan Rivard stretched the score to 3-1 with 11:10 to go in the second, grabbing the rebound from a Cole Souto shot that hit the pipe and slamming it home before Kubic could recover to his left.
 
A bizarre bounce put the Blizzard back in the game at the 8:48 mark when a clear-in by defenseman Connor Spetz bounced off the Zamboni door and toward the net; as Bobcat netminder Hunter Shepard tried to recover to the right post, the puck bounced off Shepard and in to cut the advantage to 3-2.
 
Once again, though, the Cats’ power play had the answer: with 1:30 to go in the middle stanza, Tony German fired a point shot that bounced off a Brookings defender and in past Kubic for a 4-2 edge after two.
 
Brookings got their second power play strike of the night just 40 seconds into the third when newcomer Garrett Elmore deflected a Zach Glienke shot through Shepard’s legs to bring it back to a one-goal contest.
 
That would be as close as the Blizzard would come; the Bobcat defense held the home side to just five shots over the final 19-plus minutes, including none on Brookings’ final power play and none after the 3:30 mark—thanks to late key blocks by Alex Strand, Nick Wallace and Tanner Salsberry.
 
Both sides picked up late first-period tallies as Jared Spooner drew first blood on a turnover in the Brookings end but was answered just over four minutes later on a transition blast on the power play by Glienke to tie the game at one heading into the first intermission.
 
Shepard turned in 20 saves to secure his fourth straight win and first in three tries against the Blizzard. Kubic made 29 saves but couldn’t avoid his fifth loss; Friday marks the first time the St. Andrews, Manitoba, native has surrendered more than three goals since November 22.
 
Now the scene shifts to the VFW Sports Center as the home-and-home series wraps up Saturday between the Bobcats and Blizzard at 7:15pm.
 
Tickets are now on sale for the Bobcats’ first home game of the New Year: fans can buy and print tickets 24 hours a day at BismarckBobcats.com or charge by phone at 222-3300.
 
Live coverage of Saturday’s weekend finale will begin at 6:45pm locally on SuperTalk 1270, KLXX-AM, the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, and worldwide online at NAHL.FASTHockey.com, the official web television partner of the North American Hockey League.
 
Though the 2014-15 season has passed the half-way mark, there is still time to order season tickets for the year; fans who want to lock in their seats for the rest of the campaign should call the Bobcat office at 222-3300 today!