When the Levee Breaks

Cats Can’t Hold off Fairbanks, Fall 3-2
FAIRBANKS, AK – Despite a hot start and a two-goal lead after one, the Bismarck Bobcats saw the Fairbanks Ice Dogs net three straight goals as the Cats fell 3-2 Saturday, suffering a sweep at the hands of the defending league champions at the Big Dipper.
Things started very well for the Bobcats, who grabbed a 1-0 lead just 2:17 into the game when Harrison Aide picked up his first of the year by cashing in a Ryan Callahan rebound on the rush.
That lead would swell to 2-0 for the Cats on the power play when Matt Perry blasted a one-timer from Alex Strand past Ice Dogs netminder Patrick Munson with 8:49 to go in the opening frame.
The Cats had their chances to claim a bigger lead, but quality chances from Evan Giesler and Jared Spooner never made it on net, while the team failed to cash in a five-minute major power play in the last five minutes of the opening frame.
Fairbanks climbed back into the game in the second on the power play when a blocked point shot skidded to a wide-open Chandler Madry, who banged the puck home to cut the Cats’ lead to 2-1 with 12:17 left in the second.
It looked like the visitors might be able to squeak out a win at the Big Dipper through most of the third, but the Cats’ defense allowed Ryner Gorowsky to get free in transition to pop in a Caden Cahill rebound with 6:58 to go in regulation.
Just 2:05 later, things went from bad to worse for the Bobcats when Ethan Somoza snuck a low one-timer through the five-hole of goalie Hunter Shepard to post the Dogs to their first lead of the night at 3-2.
Though the Cats were able to carry the pace of play after Somoza’s go-ahead tally, they only managed two shots in the final minutes on Munson, who stopped the last 14 shots he saw to secure the win for Fairbanks.
After holding the edge in shots over the Ice Dogs 15-6 in the opening period, the Bobcats were outshot 32-11 over the final 40 minutes en route to dropping their third straight contest.
Shepard ended up with 35 saves but couldn’t get enough offensive support to avoid his third loss of the young season.
With the loss, the Cats fall two games below .500 for the first time since October 13, 2012, when they were 4-6-0. That installment of the Bobcats would bounce back to finish the 2012-13 season 35-16-9, eventually missing the national championship game by one goal.
The Bobcats now get six days off before the last leg of their two-week Alaska trip begins Friday at 10:30pm against the Kenai River Brown Bears at the Soldotna Sports Center.
Live coverage of Friday’s series opener will begin at 10:30pm 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.
Though the 2014-15 season is now under way, there is still time to order season tickets for the year; fans who want to lock in their seats for the entire campaign should call the Bobcat office at 222-3300 today!