Shootout Victory Nets Cats First-Place Tie

ONALASKA, WI – The Bismarck Bobcats pulled out a wild 4-3 shootout win Friday over the Coulee Region Chill to storm into a first-place tie atop the Central Division at the Omni Center.

The win gives the Cats (27-14-4, 58 pts) a share of first place with the Owatonna Express (26-17-6, 58 pts)—who fell 5-4 in overtime Friday at Aberdeen—with the Chill (26-15-5, 57 pts) one point behind the division leaders.

It was the Chill that jumped out to the early lead as David Ripple stung home a centering feed from Lucas Dillon on the power play just 9:29 into the game for a 1-0 lead for the home side.

The Bobcats evened the score with 30 seconds left in the first when John Furgele ripped a one-time slap shot off a give-and-go with Matt Gates for his first goal of the year.

Furgele, who had rung a shot off the cross-bar Thursday in Owatonna, noted it was a weight off his shoulders to get his first tally.

“It’s a huge relief, for sure,” said Furgele, who also has 14 assists to go with his goal. “Gates made a great pass and found me in a nice spot to get the shot off.”

Furgele’s next shot put the Bobcats ahead, in a manner of speaking, 9:43 into the second as the defenseman fired a low liner off the shin guard of Castan Sommer and into the Chill net for a 2-1 lead—Sommer was credited with the goal for the deflection, his fourth in six games in a Bobcat uniform.

Coulee Region wasted no time in equalizing, though, in transition on Zac Frischmon’s 26th goal of the year, cashing in a 2-on-1 pass from Micky Knox only 16 seconds after Sommer’s go-ahead marker to tie the game 2-2.

The Bobcats pulled back ahead in the third as Tyler Richter muscled a Donald Olivieri rebound past Chill goalie Aaron Davis and just over the goal line to boost the Cats to a 3-2 edge 3:52 into the third stanza.

A little luck helped the Chill force another tie late when a long shot from Connor Garder bounded off Ripple while Bobcat netminder Ryan Faragher ranged to his right to play Gaarder’s shot, deflecting a slow roller that trickled past Faragher with 4:41 left in regulation for a 3-3 deadlock.

Neither team found the back of the net in the remainder of the third or in the 4-on-4 overtime, forcing the decisive shootout.

Faragher and Davis stole the show through the first five rounds, denying all 10 shooters to send the game into a sudden-death shootout.

In the sixth round, Sommer ripped a wrist shot past Davis for the first goal of the shootout.

Berkley Scott slid a five-hole shot past Faragher in the Chill’s half of the sixth round, extending the shootout to the seventh frame.

Bobcats head coach Layne Sedevie called on defenseman Charlie Aus, who has no goals in 34 games, in the seventh. Aus drew Davis to the right and fired a low shot to his left, beating Davis to give the Cats a 2-1 lead in the shootout.

“We practice shootouts two or three times a week,” said Sedevie, “and Charlie is always making good shots, keeping his head up. Tonight he did just that and made a great shot against a hot goalie.”

Leading scorer Connor Gaarder took the puck for Coulee Region, but fired his chance over the crossbar, giving the Bobcats a 4-3 victory.

Faragher made 36 saves, plus six of seven in the shootout, to earn his NAHL-best 26th win of 2010-11.

Davis suffered his first overtime loss of the year, slipping to 7-3-1, despite 42 saves on the night.

The Bobcats will wrap up their three-game road swing Saturday with their last game of the regular season at the Omni Center, a 7:00 PM start against the Chill.

Saturday’s weekend finale will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide at As with all away games during the 2010-11 season, fans are encouraged to view the game at Reza’s Pitch—the official away game Home of the Bobcats—at the corner of Third and Front in Bismarck. Pre-game coverage will begin at 6:30 PM CT.

Season tickets are now on sale for the 2010-11 season! Call the Bobcat Hockey office at (701) 222-3300 or email for more information on reserving your seats for the entire season as the Bobcats look to defend the Robertson Cup!