Six-Goal Game One Blitz Stings Bobcats

ALEXANDRIA, MN – The Bismarck Bobcats saw the Alexandria Blizzard run off six straight goals in the first 26 minutes of Game One and could not muster a big comeback, falling 6-1 Friday at the Runestone Center for a 0-1 series deficit in the best-of-five Central Division Semifinals.

Moments after the fourth-seeded Bobcats nearly took an early lead after Frank DeAugustine rang a shot off the post, the Blizzard jumped ahead 1-0 when Jordan Nelson converted a 3-on-2 rush with a high backhander 1:35 into the game.

The league’s second-leading regular season scorer Nardo Nagtzaam doubled the lead with 9:12 to go in the first, blistering a rising slap shot from 35 feet that beat goalie Ryan Faragher high glove for a 2-0 Alexandria edge.

Goals from Reid Sturos and Rock Einersen pushed the lead to 4-0 by the time the first period came to an end.

The Blizzard kept rolling into the second as Steve Zierke and Thomas Williams netted goals in the first 5:02 of the second period to post the Blizzard to a commanding 6-0 advantage—chasing Faragher, who was replaced by Tommy Burke.

Faragher finished with 8 saves on 14 shots and dropped to 0-1 in the 2011 Robertson Cup Playoffs. The Fort Frances, Ont., native is 5-1 all-time in the playoffs.

With Burke in the cage, the Bobcats bounced back, holding the Blizzard scoreless over the next 34-plus minutes of hockey thanks to a more physical defense and another impressive outing from Burke, who has not allowed a goal in relief since coming to the Bobcats in October.

Jason Nash broke up former Bobcat Jake Williams’ shutout just 96 seconds into the third, bombing a 40-foot slap shot past the Montreal native to cut the lead to 6-1, but the Bobcats would draw no closer.

Williams made 28 saves for his first win of the 2011 postseason. He fashioned a 4-2 playoff record as a member of the Bobcats’ title run in 2010.

Burke stopped all 20 shots he faced but did not factor into the decision.

The Bobcats will have a chance to get even with the Blizzard in Game Two, which starts Saturday at 7:30 in Alexandria.

Saturday’s rematch will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide at http://nahl.fasthockey.com/. 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 7:00 PM CT.

Season tickets are now on sale for the 2011-12 season! Call the Bobcat Hockey office at (701) 222-3300 or email gobobcathockey@aol.com for more information on reserving your seats for next season!

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