ALEXANDRIA, MN – The Bismarck Bobcats completed a two-game weekend sweep of the Alexandria Blizzard thanks to a 2-0 shutout at the Runestone Center Saturday.
Ryan Faragher picked up the shutout in net—his second of the season—by turning aside all 26 Blizzard shots sent his way.
“Getting a shutout is always special,” said Faragher after the game, “some guys go entire seasons without one and now I’ve got two. It’s something I’m definitely going to cherish.”
Ryan Jacobson provided the eventual game-winning goal for the Bobcats just 1:45 into the first period, taking a Brett Bower feed and pushing a backhand shot through the legs of Alexandria netminder Chris Kamal for an early 1-0 lead.
“Timmy [Serratore] made a nice play on the forecheck to get the puck free,” said Jacobson, “and Bower hit me with a good feed. I found a little room to shoot and got a little lucky too.”
Jacobson has now scored four goals in his last four games.
Leading Bobcat scorer Jason Fabian picked up a power play tally just over five minutes later, taking a centering feed from Casey Kleisinger and powering it under Kamal for what proved to be the final 2-0 margin just 6:58 into the game.
After being outshot by the Bobcats 14-4 in the first period, the Blizzard battled back in the second with a strong physical attack—outshooting the visitors 10-6 in the second—but could not get on the board in the middle frame.
The second period was interrupted by the ejection of Kleisinger, who was given a four minute double minor and a game ejection for checking from behind.
The Bobcats’ league-leading penalty killing unit (90.9% efficiency) successfully negated the four minute Blizzard power play, effectively halting the momentum Alexandria had built in the second.
“When Casey got tossed, we knew we had to respond out there,” said Jacobson, who was an active member of the Bobcat penalty kill. “We dialed up the intensity and came out with one of the best ‘PKs’ we’ve had all year—and that was without Casey, who’s one of our best killers.”
Following the scoreless second, the Bobcats fought off another rally attempt by the Blizzard in the third. The home side carried much of the action in the final frame, outshooting the ‘Cats 12-2 in the last 20 minutes, but Faragher and the Bobcat defense kept the net clean to preserve the win.
“For the second straight night, the guys in front of me were great,” said Faragher. “Gave me a great look at the puck and, again, whenever there were rebounds my ‘D’ got them right out of there.”
Kamal finished with 20 saves for the Blizzard but suffered his first regulation loss of the season, falling to 2-1-2.
The Bobcats return home for a two-game series Friday when the Albert Lea Thunder come calling for a 7:15 PM contest. The team is offering “Bobcat Buck Beers” between 6:15 and 7:15 and Cloverdale Meats will be giving out free samples of Russell’s Reserve Ribs as part of a pre-game celebration.
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 6:45 PM.
You won\’t want to miss any of the games this season, so order your Season Tickets, Family Packs and Group Night’s 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.