Bobcats Blue Line Ignites 6-1 Rout
BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats exploded for six goals—four from defensemen—as the Cats breezed by the Coulee Region Chill at the VFW Sports Center Saturday to complete the sweep of Coulee Region on the weekend.
“Our forecheck dominated the game and created a lot of offense all weekend,” hailed Bobcats assistant coach Garrett Roth. “The guys were working hard and playing with the kind of work ethic that we’ve been looking for out of them all year.”
Joe Giordano got the offensive party started for the Bobcats 4:04 into the game, utilizing the forecheck of Filip Starzynski to intercept an attempted outlet pass at the Chill blue line for a 60-foot breakaway that the veteran forward tucked in past Coulee Region netminder Blake Cates for a fast 1-0 lead.
With 7:08 to go in the first, Jeremy O’Keefe triggered a scoring rally by the Bobcat defense, smiting home his first goal of the season on a back door pass from Kevin Becker to make it 2-0 for the Cats.
“Honestly, that goal was all Kevin Becker,” credited O’Keefe, who also piled up a +3 plus/minus rating Saturday, “he made a great spin move out of the corner around their defense and gave me a perfect pass on the back door and all I had to do was tap it in.”
Becker finished the game with three assists to complete a five-point weekend; he entered Friday’s game with five points total on the season—all assists.
Rory Vesel picked up where his fellow veteran O’Keefe left off in the second, putting away back-to-back point blank chances from Giordano to push the Bobcats’ edge to 4-0 after two periods.
“Seeing guys like Rory and Jeremy get rewarded with goals for all the hard work they do defensively is great,” observed Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie. “They block shots and clog lanes for us every game and tonight they stepped up and gave us a little offense, too.”
Bobcat newcomer Stanislav Dzakhov extended the Cats’ lead to 5-0 with 15:54 to go in the game, redirecting a point shot from defenseman Nate Repensky through Cates’ legs for his second goal in as many nights.
Coulee Region spoiled Bobcat goalie Bryan Nies’ bid for a shutout with 9:20 left on a 3-on-2 rush as Andy Faust bounded a shot off Nies’ right arm and in to slice the lead down to 5-1.
Sam Wolfe put a cap on the four-game season series with the Chill, becoming the third defenseman to score Saturday when he hammered home an Evan Giesler rebound in transition for the final 6-1 count.
Nies needed a tidy 15 saves to rack up his third straight win and move over .500 at 7-6-0 on the year. Cates piled up 40 stops but suffered his ninth defeat of 2012-13.
The Bobcats are right back in action Monday for a New Year’s Eve showdown with the Minot Minotauros. For the holiday contest, the team will be wearing special edition tuxedo jerseys that will be auctioned off after the game.
Fans that come to Monday’s “Dress to the Nines” game in a suit, tuxedo or dress will be entered to win a great Bobcat gift.
Monday’s intrastate grudge match 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 http://nahl.fasthockey.com. Pregame coverage gets under way at 6:45 PM.
Pro-rated season tickets for the 2012-13 season are now on sale—and going fast! Call the Bobcat Hockey office today at (701) 222-3300 to reserve your seats for another great season of Championship Entertainment.