Three Out of Four Ain’t Bad

AUSTIN, MN – The Bismarck Bobcats captured three of four standings points on the weekend from the second place Austin Bruins and will head into the Christmas break with a 12-point lead in the Central Division standings following a 3-2 overtime loss to the Bruins Saturday at Riverside Arena.

Following a scoreless first period, the Bruins opened the scoring 1:55 into the second period when Austin Nelson cashed in an up-ice rush for the home side, rocketing a snap shot over the glove of Bobcat goalie Aaron Nelson for a 1-0 lead.

The Bobcats leveled the game at one 1:23 later on the power play as Adam Knochenmus popped home a Shane Omdahl rebound for his fifth goal of the year.

Both sides got a big scare at the end of the second when, following a fight with Bruins forward John Simonson, Bobcats leading scorer Frank DeAugustine was pulled to the ice and landed on his head. DeAugustine lay motionless on the ice for nearly 10 minutes before being carted off by paramedics.

DeAugustine was taken to the Mayo Clinic in nearby Rochester and held overnight for observation.

“Frankie is awake and remembers everything,” Bobcats team owner Thom Brigl said via text message, “he is very coherent but we’re taking every precaution. He’ll be tested more at Mayo.”

In a message to his teammates, DeAugustine joked, “next time I won’t get in a fight.”

After the Bobcats failed to convert back-to-back 5-on-3 power plays early in the third, Austin pushed back in front at 2-1 on a power play goal of their own, netted by Brandon Wahlin off a long rebound from Jeremy Finger that caught Nelson out of position with 14:46 left in the final frame.

Castan Sommer returned the contest to a tie at 2-2 with 4:33 to go in regulation, tallying his team-best 17th goal of the year on the power play when his transition wrist shot deflected past Bruins goalie Tyler Bruggeman’s glove and in.

The Bobcats killed a Bruins power play to close regulation, but Chris Fischer was able to poke home a Christian Folin rebound just 52 seconds into bonus hockey to earn a weekend split for the Bruins and hand the Cats their first OT loss of 2011-12.

Sommer and Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie argued the game-winning play was offside—a claim backed up by video replay—but to no avail, as the winning play was allowed to stand.

Nelson saw his seven-game win streak snapped despite 16 goals; Bruggeman secured his 13th win of the year behind 48 saves—including an eye-popping 24 stops in the third period.

The Bobcats will wrap up their pre-Christmas schedule with their highly anticipated showdown with Russia’s Red Stars Wednesday at the VFW Sports Center with a 7:15 PM puck drop.

You won’t want to miss the franchise’s first international event and a limited number of standing room only tickets still remain for the Bobcats-Red Stars extravaganza. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 222-3300 or fans can buy and print online right now at

Bobcat Hockey would like to thank its presenting sponsors for the Red Stars showdown: Scheels and Cumulus Broadcasting – HOT 97.5, 96.5 The Fox, US 103, Cool 98.7 and Super Talk 1270, the radio home of your Bismarck Bobcats!