BISMARCK, N.D.–The Minot Minotauros scored a goal with 27 seconds left and added an empty netter to defeat the Bismarck Bobcats 7-5 on Saturday at the VFW Sports Center.
The Bobcats did not hold a single lead in this game. However, they battled back to force ties of 4-4 in the second period and 5-5 with five minutes remaining in the third. They not only battled the team from Minot, but the team in stripes.
“You can not win when the referee does not get three calls right,” head coach Layne Sedevie said. “That might have been the worst officiated game I have ever been a part of … I have been kicked out of a lot of games, but this is the worst game I have ever seen.”
Frustration with the officials began in the first period with a would-be Jake McLean goal waved off for a distinct kicking motion. Replay appeared to show McLean turn his skate to redirect a puck at the net front, but no kick. After the Bobcats scored their first allowed goal later in the period, referee Ian Carlson assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct minor on Sedevie.
On the ensuing power play, Minot’s Colby Joseph tipped a point shot past goaltender Hunter Garvey. The Bobcats immediately contended for a high stick, and replay showed Joseph’s stick to be neck-high, thus very likely over the crossbar.
The game ended fittingly, with Garvey taking sustained contact to his right pad leading up to, and during, the game-winning goal-scoring play in the last minute of the contest. In Sedevie’s eyes, his team suffered from a three-goal swing in a game they lost by one.
“I thought (the offense) was good,” Sedevie said. “It is hard to win games when you are behind the 8-ball. I did not know if (the referee) was going to call our goals all night long.”
The Bobcats’ offense converted five goals on 25 shots, all five at even strength. Calvin Hanson came through with another two goal night, lifting him to five tallies on the weekend. Michael Neumeier ended a seven-game point drought with a goal and an assist in the game.
Hard luck loss aside, this 3-in-3 signaled a change in approach–and perhaps a bit more desperation–for the Bobcats’ coaches.
“It is going to be tough from here on out,” Sedevie said. “We are going to work on everything. It is what we did last year. It is the only way I know how to do it.”
Sedevie hopes this year’s team, currently at 11 wins in 29 games, can replicate last year’s incredible second half. The 2021-22 Bobcats had only nine wins at this halfway point.
Bismarck travels to North Iowa for a pair of road games on January 6 and 7 before returning to host the Bulls on January 13 and 14. Tickets for all 2022-23 games are available at tickets.bismarckbobcats.com or by calling the Bobcat office at 222-3300.