Battling out Number Ten

Oct 20, 2011

ABERDEEN, SD – The Bismarck Bobcats got a strong performance in net from Tommy Burke and held on for a thrilling 4-1 win over the Aberdeen Wings Friday at the Odde Ice Center.

Burke made 29 saves and secured his ninth win of 2011-12 in the face of a furious Aberdeen rush.

“I always say that big guys need to make big plays, and that’s what we got from Tommy tonight,” said Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie. “He was a big part of our veteran leadership that saw us through a tough road game and got us two big points.”

The Bobcat power play gave Burke an early 1-0 lead when Shane Omdahl swung home a back-door feed from Castan Sommer 7:32 into the game to silence the raucous crowd of 1,069 in Aberdeen.

Joseph Sullivan, however, responded 2:30 later on the rush for the Wings, batting a Bob Bruski rebound past Burke for a 1-1 tie that would last through the first intermission.

Veteran Bobcat forward Tyler Richter put the Cats back ahead with 12:05 left in the second, pushing a Frank DeAugustine rebound in for a 2-1 lead.

From there, Burke and Wings netminder Hunter Leisner combined to shut down the opposition, combining for 49 saves in the second and third periods to keep the game tight.

“Credit Leisner,” added Richter, who was robbed on a number of other chances by the Aberdeen keeper, “he made some big saves on great chances for us. We could’ve had a lot more tonight, for sure.”

Leisner finished with 43 saves but a tough loss, and was not charged with either of the Bobcats final goals—empty net strikes from Nick Miglio and Bryce Schmitt in the last 38 seconds of the game for the final 4-1 margin.

Schmitt’s goal was a short-handed tally as Danny Ray was serving a late penalty.

“Bryce showed a ton of leadership wearing that captain’s ‘C’ tonight,” beamed Sedevie, who was incensed when an apparent goal by Schmitt was called off moments before Richter’s go-ahead strike. “We had some tough breaks tonight and he and the other captains really kept everyone focused on what we could control and Bryce was rewarded with that empty-netter.”

The win gives the Cats their tenth victory of the year and pushes their first place lead to nine points over the Austin Bruins and Alexandria Blizzard after the Blizzard dropped the Bruins 5-1 Friday.

Both sides will reconvene for the series finale Saturday, with a 7:15 PM start from Odde Ice Center.

Saturday’s showdown 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. Fans in Bismarck can catch all the action live from Reza’s Pitch at Third and Front—the official away game home of Bobcat Hockey.

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!