Backhand Beauty

BISMARCK, ND – Frank DeAugustine picked the corner for the game-winning goal 48 seconds into overtime to boost the Bismarck Bobcats to a 4-3 win over the Dawson Creek Rage Friday at the VFW Sports Center.

With the game knotted 3-3 in bonus hockey time, DeAugustine took the puck on a dogged entry by Dan Zawacki and waited out Rage goalie Jack Surgenor to lift a backhand shot off the crossbar and in for the Cats’ 12th win of 2011-12.

“A lot of our guys love to joke with me and tell me I shoot it better backhand than forehand,” smiled DeAugustine, “and I guess this time they knew what they were talking about. I could’ve shot it right away but I knew I had a little time so I waited for Surgenor to show me something.”

The Bobcats built a 3-1 lead after one, starting with a heavy blast by Donald Olivieri off a neutral zone steal that blew past Surgenor 7:25 into the game to open the scoring for the home side.

It was Olivieri’s second goal in as many games and his seventh overall—tops among blueliners in the NAHL.

“I read the play in the neutral zone and tried to come up to support [Adam] Knochenmus after he lost the puck,” noted Olivieri, who started the rush after stealing the puck at center. “I had a lane after I picked it up and got a good look at the shot I wanted.”

Tyler Richter doubled the lead 1:29 later, sending home a John Furgele rebound for a 2-0 edge for the Cats, forcing Rage bench boss Scott Robinson to take an early time out.

Rage forward Jason Wark pushed his league-high point scoring streak to nine games with 2:58 to go in the first, muscling a loose puck past Bobcat goalie Tommy Burke for a power play strike that chopped the lead to 2-1.

Nick Miglio, who recorded a hat trick against the Rage on October 8, pushed the Bobcats back to a 3-1 lead with 42 seconds left in the opening frame, swiping home an Olivieri rebound under a scrambling Surgenor.

Dawson Creek stole momentum in the second, however, on back-to-back goals by Stephen Saretsky and Troy Petrick over an 82-second span to force a 3-3 tie that lasted through the end of regulation before DeAugustine’s overtime heroics.

Burke nailed down his league-best tenth win of the season behind 20 saves while Surgenor suffered first overtime defeat of 2011-12.

The Bobcats and Rage will wrap up their four-game border battle Saturday night with a 7:15 PM start at the VFW Sports Center.

All children in costume for Saturday’s special Halloween tilt will receive free candy and all adults wearing a qualifying costume will receive one free beer prior to the game.

Saturday’s series finale will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide on the official internet television partner of the NAHL, FASTHockey, at Pregame coverage gets under way at 6:45.

Season tickets are now on sale for the 2011-12 season—and going fast! Call the Bobcat Hockey office at (701) 222-3300 or email for more information on reserving a pro-rated package for this season!