Pinball Goals Haunt Bobcats in 4-2 Loss
BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats kept erasing deficits but could not recover from a late power play goal, falling 4-2 Saturday to the Minot Minotauros at the VFW Sports Center to push their losing streak to five straight games.
After the Cats dominated the early stages of the contest, Minot struck first on a broken play as a blocked shot off the stick of Johnny Walker careened straight to Tyler Jeanson, who quickly fired home his first goal of the season with 11:00 remaining in the first before Bobcat goalie Hunter Shepard could recover to his right.
Veteran winger Jared Pike pulled the home side even at 1-1 exactly four minutes later, exploiting a huge hole in the Minot defense created by an expert forecheck from Willie Brown and beating Minot netminder Lucas Murray high to the glove side with a backhand.
Another broken play led to another Minot lead with 9:31 to go in the second when a Zack Bross pass intended for Jack Murphy on a 2-on-2 was blocked straight to trailing defenseman Sam Fuss, who snapped a low shot inside the left post as Shepard scrambled to recover from the initial play on Bross.
Again, the Bobcats had the answer 3:53 thereafter, on an individual effort that saw third-year center Alex Strand feign a move to his left before firing an off-balance snap shot back to his right that fooled Murray glove side and tied the game 2-2 heading into the second intermission.
In the third period, the Bobcat attack fell off: the home side only efforted three shots in the final 20 minutes on Murray, all turned away.
Minot claimed the lead for good with 10:09 left in regulation on a Jared Brandt power play shot through traffic that changed direction off Strand’s shot-block attempt in the high slot and sailed over Shepard’s blocker for a 3-2 score.
Second-year wing Christian Mohs put the game out of reach at 4-2 at the 56-second mark, stealing the puck while Shepard was pulled for the extra attacker and gliding a low 60-footer into the empty net for the final margin.
Despite an 18-save night, Shepard could not avoid his fourth straight loss; Murray improved to 2-1-1 behind 35 stops.
Now the Cats face a 13-day layoff—their longest downtime of the season—before their next game, a 7:15pm road throwdown on Friday, October 16, at Odde Ice Center against another fierce rival: the Aberdeen Wings.
The Cats’ first true road game of 2015-16 will be broadcast live on locally SuperTalk 1270 AM, the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, and worldwide online at NAHL.FASTHockey.com—the official web television partner of the North American Hockey League—with pregame coverage starting at 6:45pm.
Season tickets are now on sale for the 2015-16 campaign; if you want to beat the rush of 40,000 fans for this season, now is the time! Call 222-3300 today to reserve your seats.
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