ALBERT LEA, MN – The Bismarck Bobcats lost in regulation for the first time in 17 games as the Albert Lea Thunder rode a four-goal third period to a 7-3 win at the Albert Lea Arena Friday.
The loss marks the first time the Bobcats have failed to secure at least one standings point in a game since their 2-0 loss at Owatonna on October 16th.
Leading 3-2 after two periods, the homestanding Thunder blew the game wide open in the early stages of the third, starting with a Derek Docken shorthanded breakaway tally just 3:52 into the final frame to make it 4-2.
Zach May followed two minutes later, deflecting a Niko Kapetanovic shot past Bobcat netminder Ryan Faragher for a big 5-2 Thunder edge.
One minute after May’s goal, Brett Meyers notched his second of the night on a power play deflection from a Mark Ellis shot to push the game to 6-2.
Ryan Jacobson tried to lead a rally for the Bobcats, cutting the Albert Lea edge to 6-3 with 10:40 left in the third with a five-hole shot past Thunder netminder Joe Rogers, but that would be as close as the ‘Cats would come.
Thunder center Chris Cass capped the scoring with a transition slap shot past Faragher with 5:07 remaining in regulation.
Albert Lea got out to a hot start, grabbing a fast 2-0 lead on first period goals from Meyers and Ellis, but the Bobcats battled back to tie the game in the second period thanks to two Casey Kleisinger power play tallies, the second coming 7:23 into the second.
The Thunder seized the lead for good with just 10 seconds left in the middle frame when forward Alex Niestrom one-timed a Kapetanovic centering feed home to start the run of four unanswered Albert Lea scores.
Faragher finished the night with 24 saves but fell to 9-4-5 on the year; Bobcat backup keeper Aaron Corey made three saves after replacing Faragher following Cass’ goal.
Rogers made 21 saves to improve to 5-9-2 for the Thunder.
The two teams wrap up their two-game series Saturday night with a 7:00 PM contest at Albert Lea Arena.
The game will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide at BismarckBobcats.com via B2 Networks. The pre-game show starts at 6:30 PM.
You won\’t want to miss any of the games this season, so order your Season Tickets, Family Packs and Group Nights today by calling the Bobcat Hockey Office at 701-222-3300 or by e-mailing the office for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.