BISMARCK, N.D.–The last time the Bismarck Bobcats defeated the Minot Minotauros by seven goals, March 29, 2013, the Minot franchise was still in the newcomer phase. Ten seasons later, the Bobcats (9-9-3) dominated the Tauros (12-8-2) 8-1 at the VFW Sports Center on Wednesday.
In a rivalry series that has been so tightly contested for over a decade, the Cats used an unfathomably fast start to race ahead. Bismarck scored four goals in the opening 10:12 of game time. Vertti Jantunen, Alexander Palchik (twice), and Evan Hunter all found the back of the net before Minot even recorded a shot.
“We worked and we won races,” head coach Layne Sedevie said. “We won battles. It is no secret, when you play like that, you are going to have success. You are going to be in the hockey game.”
Adam Pietila, Michael Neumeier, and Erik Atchison tacked on goals for the Bobcats in the second period. Landon Fandel scored the team’s eighth and final goal–and the first of his junior hockey career–in the last minute of regulation.
As important as the strong start was in earning the victory, keeping Minot off the board in key moments impressed the coaching staff just as much. Bismarck successfully killed four penalties in the game, including a lengthy 5-on-3 in the first period.
“I think it is the best we have played for 60 minutes since we beat them (4-0) in their building darn near two months ago,” Sedevie said. “From start to finish, there was a lot of good.”
The Tauros’ only goal came late in the second, with the Bobcats having already taken a 7-0 lead. Bismarck notched an incredible streak of 15 consecutive goals scored: the final eight against North Iowa last Saturday and the first seven on Wednesday.
With a sellout crowd on Thanksgiving Eve, the Bobcats put together a performance sure to make the locals happy. It is the VFW’s fourth sellout in just nine home games.
“Our fan support has been fantastic,” Sedevie said. “It is one thing getting (players) here from all over the world, but it is one of the best places to play and it is because of our fans … I am glad we could redeem ourselves from the last time we played in our building.”
With the week off to a good start, the Bobcats have four more points on the table before November comes to an end. Bismarck travels to Minot for a 7:35 p.m. puck drop on Friday, then to Aberdeen on Saturday.