Bobcats Stunned in Final Minute
BROOKINGS, SD — The Bismarck Bobcats' season series against the Brookings Blizzard ended on a sour note as the Blizzard scored in the last minute of regulation Friday to steal a 4-3 win from the Cats at the Larson Ice Center.
Tied at two after two periods, the Bobcats took their third lead of the night with 9:59 to go in the third after Brookings goalie Eric Hancock misplayed the puck in the corner, leaving a wide-open cage for Jared Pike to slam it into to make it 3-2 in favor of the visitors.
Just 1:12 later, however, the Blizzard equalized off an offensive zone faceoff that saw Oscar Odd deflect a high-slot wrister from Nate Colwell that bounced in off Bobcat netminder Alex Bitsakis to knot the score at three.
Brookings then dealt the Cats a stunning blow with 54 seconds left in the contest as the Blizzard tallied their third power play goal of the night on their seventh consecutive man advantage as Joe Anderson poked the puck home before Bitsakis could freeze it.
Try as they might in the game's closing seconds, the Cats could not find the back of the cage, falling 4-3.
Cullen Willox gave the Bobcats a fast 1-0 lead 1:28 into the night, redirecting a Tony German effort under the crossbar for his 19th goal of the year.
Blizzard newcomer Ben Campbell pushed back 3:54 later on the power play, bombing a rising slap shot through traffic to beat Bitsakis high to the glove to even the score at one.
Matt Perry restored the Cats' advantage at 2-1 with 9:47 to go in the first when the veteran center was awarded a shorthanded penalty shot, which he cashed in over the glove of Hancock for the Bobcats' league-best 11th shorthanded tally.
In the second–moments after the visitors had negated a 1:43 5-on-3–Brookings drew even once more on the power play with a Colwell redirect of a point shot by TJ Samec with 9:36 remaining in the frame, setting the stage for the game's wild finish.
Bitsakis was saddled with the hard-luck loss on 21 saves. Hancock turned in 17 stops to secure the win.
Despite the loss, the Bobcats claimed the season series over the Blizzard 7-5-0.
Now the Cats turn their attention to their final trip to northeast South Dakota as they will face the Aberdeen Wings Saturday at 7:15pm at the Odde Ice Center.
Live coverage of round 11 of the Titan Machinery Dakota Cup will begin at 6:45pm 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 over half way through, there is still time to order season tickets for the year; fans who want to lock in their seats for the remainder of the campaign should call the Bobcat office at 222-3300 today!