The Bismarck Bobcats have not played a great deal of low-scoring games this season, thriving off of a heavy offensive attack. The Bobcats’ defense helped lead them to a 3-1 win against the North Iowa Bulls at Mason City Arena on Friday.
North Iowa’s lone score came on a power play late in the first period. The Bobcats’ penalty killers attempted a breakout pass rather than clearing the puck forward, resulting in a takeaway and a goal against. Bismarck allowed nothing at 5-on-5 play all night, and looked sound defensively aside from the one lapse.
“Our commitment to the right side of the puck was a lot better,” head coach Layne Sedevie said. “I still do not like the goal we gave up on our penalty kill, but it is two points on the road. I thought we played pretty consistently … There was improvement where there needed to be.”
The offense controlled the pace, possession, and the shots on goal for the majority of the hockey game. Bismarck scored a goal in each period: Alexander Palchik in the first, Patrick Johnson in the second, and Julian Beaumont in the third. Jake McLean dished out two assists, the only player with multiple points in the contest.
“I thought we played better as the game went on,” Sedevie said. “When we moved the puck, moved our feet, we were hard to play against.”
The box score reflected Sedevie’s assessment. The Bobcats scored their first goal without having conceded a shot, and outshot North Iowa 26-11 over the last two periods. After a strong performance, a sweep is now on the visitors’ minds.
“Tonight is good,” Sedevie said. “But let us see what shows up tomorrow. I think that is a big challenge for this group.”
The Bobcats and Bulls face off at 7:10 p.m. on Saturday at the Mason City Arena before hosting North Iowa on January 13 and 14 at the VFW Sports Center. Tickets for next week are on sale at tickets.bismarckbobcats.com.