OWATONNA, MN – The Bismarck Bobcats played stride-for-stride with the first-place Owatonna Express Friday but came up one shootout goal short, falling in an overtime shootout to the Express 4-3 at the Four Seasons Center.
The shootout loss continues the Bobcats’ woe in overtime, dropping their record after regulation to 0-0-5 in overtime and shootouts in 2009-10.
Goaltending was the early story of the game as Bismarck’s Ryan Faragher and Owatonna’s Mike Shibrowski combined for 14 saves in the first period.
The lone goal of the opening frame came when Express forward Cory Thorson poked a Jake Suter rebound past Faragher, who was pinned beneath players from both teams in front of the Bobcat net for a 1-0 Owatonna lead after one.
Scoring picked up, however, in the second period as Tim Serratore sparked the Bobcat offense with a power play score, wristing a transition shot over Shibrowski’s glove just 2:02 into the middle frame to tie the game at one.
Owatonna struck back three minutes later when Zach Vierling deflected a Suter feed past Faragher for a brief 2-1 lead for the Express.
The Bobcats struck back 40 seconds later with a Dominic Panetta put-back of an Alex Barron shot over Shibrowski’s blocker for a 2-2 tie.
Owatonna pulled ahead three minutes into the third off a Chris Bournazos bad-angle bank-shot off the back of Faragher’s skates to make it 3-2 in favor of the home team.
5:45 later, Panetta netted his second of the night—again off a Shibrowski rebound—lining home the loose change from a Bryce Schmitt shot to re-tie the game.
The teams deadlocked the rest of the way and forced a scoreless overtime; the ‘Cats outshot the Express 5-3 in the extra frame despite starting the extra frame with 1:05 of a Nick Jensen penalty to kill off.
In the shootout, Sam Rendle gave the Bobcats a 1-0 edge after four of five shooters, but Suter sent the shootout to sudden death by scoring as the last of five Owatonna shooters.
It would be another five rounds before anyone would score again when Express defenseman Jacob Sloat beat Faragher to give the home team a 4-3 win.
Faragher finished the night with 31 saves but saw his record slip to 5-3-4; Shibrowski improved to 10-1-1 with 23 stops.
The Bobcats and Express wrap up their two-game series Saturday at the Four Seasons Center at 7:00 PM Saturday.
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 6:30 PM.
You won\’t want to miss any of the games this season, so order your Season Tickets, Family Packs and Group Nights 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.