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Shake It Off

Bobcats Overcome Slow Second, Stun Minotauros in OT
 
MINOT, ND – Shaking off a three-goal rally by their archrivals, the Bismarck Bobcats staged a third-period rally Saturday to force overtime and steal a 5-4 victory over the Minot Minotauros at Maysa Arena.
 
Trailing 4-3 after the second period, the Bobcats pulled even 4:16 into the third when three-year veteran Zach Kennedy collected the puck from a Joey Sardina forecheck and buried from close range for a 4-4 score.
 
Minot tried to answer back in the final frame of regulation, peppering Bobcat goalie Will Ulrich with 10 shots but the Birmingham, Mich., native stopped all 10 attempts to force five minutes of bonus hockey.
 
After the Cats killed off a brief power play for the Minotauros in OT, center Matt Barry forced a turnover high in his defensive zone to start a 2-on-1 break with Tobias Fladeby. A well-placed entry by Barry gave Fladeby a clear lane to the net, which the Norwegian winger capitalized on with a line-drive slap shot over the glove of Minot goalie Lucas Murray for a thrilling 5-4 Bobcat win.
 
It was the Minotauros who drew first blood Saturday, taking a 1-0 lead just 5:50 into the game when Alex Adams found some space on a 5-on-3 power play to wait out Ulrich and lift home a backhander for his fifth goal of the season.
 
The Bobcats found an answer with 8:55 left in the first off an offensive zone faceoff when blueliner Jordan Fralich blistered a low slap shot in traffic through Murray’s five-hole to even the score at one.
 
Barry followed that up at the 5:58 mark, speeding into the offensive zone off the bench, taking a pass in the high slot from Parker Mismash and lifting a snap shot through a screen set by a Minot defender and in for a 2-1 Bobcat advantage.
 
A late power play helped the Cats push the score to 3-1 when Barry scored from nearly the same spot as his first goal, snapping a low shot that deflected off a Minotauro shotblock and in over Murray’s glove with 1:20 to go in the first.
 
Forward Spencer Zweiner helped Minot claw back into the game 3:39 into the second, getting free in front of the Bobcat net on a turnover and swinging home a backhand past the outstretched leg pad of Ulrich to make it a 3-2 game.
 
Confusion in the Bobcat zone allowed Minotauro center Michael Talbot to shake free in the high slot and rip a snap shot over Ulrich’s glove to tie the game at three with 3:31 left in the second.
 
The Bobcats could not escape the rough middle stanza before Minot would take the lead when 2016 Top Prospects Tournament entry Derek Frentz zipped a rising shot that bounced off Ulrich’s glove and in with 1:16 on the clock to give the Minotauros the lead back at 4-3 heading into the second intermission.
 
Credited with 28 saves, Ulrich won his second straight decision to improve to 3-3-0 in his second NAHL campaign. Murray took his first loss of the year despite 23 stops.
 
Two weeks of road games for the Bobcats continue Friday at 7:05pm as they open a two-game series at Riverside Arena against the Austin Bruins.
 
Friday’s road clash 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 6:35pm.
 
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.

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