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Bobcats Rally to Tie, Can’t Overcome Minot Surge

BISMARCK, ND – Facing an early deficit, the Bismarck Bobcats staged a comeback to tie the game but three straight goals by the visiting Minot Minotauros dealt the Cats a 5-2 defeat Friday at the VFW Sports Center.

Minot jumped ahead 2-0 in the first on goals in transition from Tyler Jeanson and Austin Martinsen, beating Bobcat goalie Severi Isokangas in a span of 7:22.

Rookie winger Tristan Ashbrook got the Bobcats back into the game with 2:23 left in the opening frame on a 3-on-2 rush, ripping a low snap shot that deflected off a Minot defender and inside the left post for a 2-1 score after one.

Following a lengthy delay due to a donnybrook in the Minot end in the second, the Cats forced a 2-2 on Luke Millen’s third goal of the year when the first-year forward pinballed a shot through traffic in front that Minot netminder Austin Park could not track before it snuck across the goal line with 9:02 remaining in the middle stanza.

A turnover at the Bobcat blue line allowed the Minotauros to reclaim the lead with 5:50 to go in the second as Jeanson sent a low shot that left a short rebound off Isokangas’ pads that Zach Bross put back to drop the Cats behind 3-2.

“I thought before that third goal that we were dictating play and starting to put together a good effort,” noted Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, whose team saw its three-game win streak halted Friday, “but a missed pass and a missed coverage in front changed the tone of the game.”

Alex Adams added a dagger for the Minotauros with just 16 seconds on the clock in the period, making a net-front redirect of a Nolan Sawchuk point shot on the power play to deliver Minot a 4-2 edge heading into the third.

The only goal of the final frame came on the stick of Minot High product Colby Enns, who ripped a low shot through multiple screens and in for the eventual final score of 5-2.

Isokangas turned in 25 stops but suffered his second loss of the season against the Minotauros. Park won his fifth consecutive start on a tide 19 saves.

Despite the loss, the Bobcats (22-25-2, 46 pts) did not lose any ground in the playoff race to fourth-place Aberdeen (23-22-4, 50 pts) thanks to the Wings’ 5-3 home defeat at the hands of Austin.

The two sides will reconvene for their final regular season meeting Saturday with a 7:15pm rematch.

Following Saturday’s contest, the Bobcats will be auctioning off their 20th Anniversary home white jerseys live in the lobby of the VFW Sports Center.

Tickets are on sale now for the last two regular season meetings between the Bobcats and Minotauros: fans can buy and print tickets online 24 hours a day at BismarckBobcats.com or charge by phone at 222-3300.

Saturday’s Subway ND Cup finale 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 6:50pm.

Pro-rated 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.