Two Short

Bobcats Done in by Five-on-Threes in Regular Season Finale
 
BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats surrendered two goals on back-to-back 5-on-3 penalty kills in a 61-second span and could not fully recover, falling 4-3 Saturday to the Minot Minotauros at the VFW Sports Center in the last regular season game for each team.
 
With the game tied 2-2 after two periods, the Bobcats were whistled for three straight penalties early in the third, resulting in consecutive two-man advantages for the Tauros—both cashed in on bouncing pucks from Colton Kramer to push Minot ahead 4-2 with 12:12 to go in the frame.
 
Logan Rivard pulled the home side right back into contention 1:18 later, taking an entry from Jake Tomkowiak and beating Minotauro goalie Tanner Holmes five-hole to make it 4-3.
 
Assistant captain Alex Strand nearly evened the score with just over a minute left, cutting through the Minot defense and juking Holmes out of position to need just a tap-in, but Strand struggled to maintain his balance and could not connect with the puck until it had skidded away from the front of the net.
 
Despite pulling goalie Hunter Shepard in the final minute and drawing an icing on the Tauros, the Bobcats could not get another shot on net, falling in their regular season finale for just the third time in seven years.
 
It was the Bobcats who opened the scoring with 7:45 to go in the first frame as Nick Wallace looped a 50-footer through a Jared Pike screen, over Holmes’ blocker and in for a 1-0 lead.
 
That edge lasted only 4:22, thanks to Minot High product Quinn Fuchs, who tapped in a Tim Athley rebound to knot the game at one through the opening 20 minutes.
 
Minot then took their first lead with 6:53 remaining in the second on a huge flurry that saw Shepard make three consecutive stops before Kramer was able to fire in a wrister for his first of three goals on the night.
 
Blueliner Tony German got the Cats back to level footing exactly four minutes later, blazing a low liner through traffic inside the left post for a two-all score through two.
 
Shepard made 34 saves but finished his rookie campaign with a .500 record at 14-14-1; Holmes turned in 28 stops to earn a weekend split in the capital region.
 
The two sides will now take a six-day breather before reconvening at Maysa Arena on Friday for Game One of the Central Division Semifinals at 7:35pm.
 
A limited number of tickets for Friday’s game in Minot will be available for purchase at the Bobcat office starting Monday. Full details for purchase of tickets for Saturday’s Game Two at the VFW Sports Center will be released early this coming week.
 
Live coverage of Friday’s playoff opener will begin at 7:05pm locally on SuperTalk 1270, KLXX-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.
 
Stay tuned to BismarckBobcats.com this week for 2015 Robertson Cup Playoff ticket information!