BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats saw an early lead go by the wayside in their first of two preseason games as the visiting Alexandria Blizzard rattled off three unanswered goals in the final 21 minutes of play to claim a 3-1 win at the VFW Sports Center Friday.
“I thought the effort was there tonight from our guys,” said Bobcats Head Coach Byron Pool, “just the execution was a little off. We had some strong individual performances tonight that I was pleased with.”
Bobcat forward Dominic Panetta gave Bismarck an early lead, wiring a Tyler Wilson centering feed past Alexandria netminder Chris Paliafito for a 1-0 edge.
The tide turned in the second period as the Blizzard outshot the Bobcats by a margin of 18-8, eventually pulling even when a Tommy Westmark effort trickled past Bobcat goalie Ryan Massa with 21 seconds remaining in the middle frame.
Alexandria went ahead for good 2:13 into the third period as Sean Kenny slid a low wrist shot past a screened-out Massa.
Blizzard forward Mike Kreig tacked on some late insurance for the visitors, beating Massa in traffic at the 2:54 mark for the final 3-1 margin.
Massa finished the game with 33 saves between the pipes for the Bobcats and earned high praise from his head coach despite the final score.
“Ryan was outstanding in net tonight,” said Pool. “He really gave us a chance to win [Friday]. His rebound control was absolutely excellent, with everything ending up in the corner. I was really pleased with his effort tonight.”
Blizzard goaltender Robert Tadazak relieved Paliafito mid-way through the second period, making 12 saves and picking up the preseason win in relief.
The Bobcats and Blizzard wrap up the preseason with a 7:15 PM Saturday contest at the VFW Sports Center.
The Bobcats opens the season on Wednesday in Blaine, Minn., at the NAHL Sherwood Showcase with a 7:45 showdown with Team USA at the Schwan’s Super Rink. The game will be broadcast live on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM. Live video and audio of the season opener will also be broadcast online by B2 Networks.
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 701-222-3300 or by e-mailing the office for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.