Big Second Lifts Bobcats to Win in Preseason Finale
BISMARCK, ND – Knotted at one through 20 minutes at the VFW Sports Center, the Bismarck Bobcats exploded for a three-goal second period en route to a 4-1 victory over the Minot Minotauros in their last preseason tuneup before the regular season begins.
Newcomer Jake Olson got the scoring started for the home side with 10:30 gone in the first, taking an outlet from Aiden Gallacher and speeding up the left wing before sniping over the glove of Minotauro netminder Samu Lonkila to make it 1-0.
Minot responded on the power play with 6:10 left in the opening frame when Michael Raisanen notched his second preseason power play tally, taking a drop pass from Michael Talbot and beating Bobcat goalie Vladimir Cibulka high to the stick side for a 1-1 tie.
Just 2:50 into the middle stanza, 2017 second-round Bobcat draft pick Adam Stacho took a centering pass from center Alex Pollock and snapped it into the net before Lonkila could recover to his right, giving the Cats a lead they would not surrender.
After Cibulka rebuffed a handful of Minot opportunities in the second, Pollock doubled the lead to two at 3-1 on the rush, streaking through the Minotauro defense and fighting through stick work to guide a low shot through Lonkila’s five-hole at the 5:38 mark of the period.
Former Aberdeen forward Jake Leitner put the finishing touches on the Cats’ second-period outburst, blasting a sharp-angle shot home with a mere 10 seconds left in the frame for the 4-1 score that would wind up being the final margin.
Cibulka needed a tidy 14 saves to nail down the victory in net after a no-decision on Saturday. Lonkila made 14 saves in the third period but could not avoid the loss in his Minotauro preseason debut.
With Wednesday’s triumph, the Bobcats finished the 2017 preseason 1-1-0, trading 4-1 home wins with Minot.
Next up for the Bobcats is the 2017 NAHL Showcase at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minn., to open the 2017-18 regular season. Showcase action begins on Wednesday, September 20, with a 2:30pm matchup with the Corpus Christi IceRays.
Wednesday’s season opener will be broadcast locally on SuperTalk 1270 AM, the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, and worldwide on HockeyTV.com, the official web broadcast partner of the North American Hockey League—pre-game coverage begins at 2:00pm.
Season tickets for the 2017-18 campaign are also now on sale—and going fast: fans can get more information or reserve their seats for all of next year now by calling 222-3300 or by texting TICKETS to 701-390-7422.