BISMARCK, N.D.–Erik Atchison had been the victim of bad puck luck for far too long. With only one goal in his first 22 shots on net–not including numerous posts–as a Bobcat, Atchison cashed in the overtime winning goal to defeat the St. Cloud Norsemen 3-2 on Friday.
Atchison skated the puck all the way up through the neutral zone, crossed into the high slot in the St. Cloud end, and fired a shot just over the right leg pad of goaltender Tomas Bolo. The goal came with 9.8 seconds remaining in overtime, meaning Atchison’s opportunity may have been the final chance for either team in the period.
“(Erik) has been well overdue,” head coach Layne Sedevie said. “He had chances again in this game. A really good play, too.”
Both teams exchanged one-goal leads in regulation. Bismarck’s Alexander Palchik and St. Cloud’s Ryan Cutler each scored in the second period. The Norsemen took advantage of a turnover in the Bobcats’ zone to grab a 2-1 lead early in the second. The Bobcats quickly responded with a Vertti Jantunen game-tying goal only 34 seconds later.
“I felt like we deserved that extra point,” Sedevie said. “A couple mistakes, I thought our penalty kill was really good. We had one mistake and it cost us … I thought the guys worked hard and got the end result they deserve.”
The Bobcats outshot St. Cloud 35-26 and were in control of much of the game. The Norsemen’s 35 shots against are nine above their season average, making it an above-average head-to-head performance. Bismarck has now won four of the five games against St. Cloud this season.
The VFW Sports Center crowd, who dug their way out of nearly two feet of snow in the area, saw the Bobcats’ first home overtime victory since April 3, 2021. The club has now won back-to-back games and looks for a weekend sweep tonight against St. Cloud. Tickets are on sale now at tickets.bismarckbobcats.com and on the free Bobcats mobile app.