BISMARCK, N.D.–Last Saturday in the third period at Austin’s Riverside Arena, Michael Neumeier took a puck to the mouth, requiring him to leave the game and receive medical attention.
This Saturday, wearing a full protective face shield, Neumeier scored two goals on home ice in a 5-1 win for the Bismarck Bobcats (9-17-2) over the North Iowa Bulls (14-9-3).
Neumeier scored the first two goals of the game. The first, a wrist shot from inside the right point on the power play. The second, the defenseman walking all the way from the right boards to the front of the net before tucking a high shot past Hunter Garvey. The rookie from Kerrobert, Sask. added an assist later in the game for a three-point night.
Bobcat head coach Layne Sedevie’s biggest critique from Friday’s win was the drop-off in play during the second period, in which North Iowa recorded twice as many shots. Despite similar shot totals Saturday, Bismarck scored the only goal, Ben Troumbly’s first of the year. They led 3-0 after two periods.
Another critique throughout the season? Pouncing on opportunities, particularly when presented with power plays. The Bobcats’ chance to put the game away came early in the third.
The Bulls took two consecutive penalties to present the Bobcats with a 5-on-3. Neumeier quarterbacked the power play unit, and on his second touch of the puck in the offensive zone, he carried it to the front of the net and dished to a wide-open Jake McLean, who scored to make it 4-0.
25 seconds later, now a 5-on-4, Patrick Johnson took a centering pass from Nico Chmelevski and slid the puck over to Eddie Shepler for a slam dunk goal. 5-0 with 14:12 to play. Game over.
North Iowa broke the shutout a minute later with a Michael Mesic 4-on-4 goal, the only shot of 33 to get past Oskar Spinnars Nordin. The Bobcats’ 19-year-old goaltender picked up his second win of the year, along with first star honors.
The Bobcats are off next week for the holiday break. Their next game is Thursday, December 30 at Minot.