Shepard Sets New Team Record as Bobcats Blank Wings
ABERDEEN, SD – Goalie Hunter Shepard made 37 saves to set a new franchise record for single-season shutouts at seven as the Bismarck Bobcats blanked the Aberdeen Wings 3-0 Friday at the Odde Ice Center.
After being stymied by Wings netminder Peter Thome on a handful of early scoring chances, the Bobcats broke through with 10:23 to go in the first on a net-front scramble that saw forward Jared Pike bat home an Alex Strand rebound for a 1-0 lead that the Cats would carry into the first intermission.
In the second, the visitors’ lead doubled to 2-0 with 12:08 left on the clock when Travis Wood blazed a rising shot through a screen set by Oskars Batna on a 5-on-3 power play for his 10th goal of the season.
That 2-0 lead would be challenged just 24 seconds later when Tucker DeYoung, the Wings’ leading scorer, was awarded a penalty shot. The Lake Bluff, Ill., native drifted into the left wing circle on his attempt before offering a quick snap shot that Shepard turned aside with his blocker to keep it a two-goal game.
Harrison Aide tacked on some major insurance 6:24 into the third, finding some space in transition on a Patrik Demel clear-out pass and ripping the puck over Thome’s glove to push the score to 3-0.
Though the Wings were awarded a pair of power plays in the third, Shepard and the Bobcat defense held them at bay, including repeated clears on the penalty kill in the final 20 seconds of regulation that kept Aberdeen from even getting a shot to the net to help Shepard eclipse the previous team record of six goose-eggs, set in 2008-09 by David Bosner.
Thome compiled 35 stops, but could not avoid his 17th loss of the season.
Friday’s win propelled the Bobcats (33-16-3, 69 pts) back into sole possession of first place after Minot (31-18-5, 67 pts) faltered at home against Minnesota.
The Cats will continue their second-to-last road swing of the regular season Saturday with a 7:30pm duel against the Brookings Blizzard at the Larson Ice Center.
Saturday’s clash will be broadcast live 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—with pregame coverage starting at 7:00pm.
Now that the Bobcats are in the playoffs, now is the time to reserve your 2016-17 season tickets! All new season ticket buyers will receive Playoff Priority for the Cats’ 2016 Robertson Cup Playoff. Fans can call 222-3300 starting later this week to reserve their seats and get Playoff Priority.
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