Bobcats Hold off Chill 3-1, Earn Split

BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats used a stalwart defensive effort and strong special teams to a 3-1 win Saturday over the Coulee Region Chill at the VFW Sports Center, meriting a series split and restoring the Bobcats (7-6-1, 15 pts) to a first-place tie atop the Central Division with the Chill (7-2-1, 15 pts).

“I couldn’t be happier with the total effort our guys put out all weekend,” noted Bobcats head coach Layne Sedevie. “Tonight they got rewarded after some rotten luck [Friday]. We need to establish that this is our building and that noone comes in here and wins; tonight was a big step in the right direction.”

For the first time in four games, it was the Bobcats who opened the scoring when a wide-open Matt Gates took a centering feed from Brett Bower and shoved a backhander through the legs of Chill goalie Paul Moberg on the power play with 2:18 left in the first period.

“We worked on a new power play setup where everything starts at the point,” said Gates, “so when [Dan] Kovar gives it down to Bower in the corner, the shift can leave me open. My eyes got huge when Brett sent that pass my way and I was able to spin and beat Moberg.”

Coulee Region answered in the second when Zac Frischmon recorded his second tally of the weekend, taking a shot off the post from linemate Micky Knox and tapping it past Bobcat netminder Ryan Faragher to tie the score at 1-1 just 5:26 into the middle frame.

Gates answered for the Cats with his second of the night on an up-ice rush, firing a low, bad-angle snapshot off Moberg’s elbow and into the net to restore the home side to a 2-1 lead with three minutes left in the second.

Bobcat forward Frank DeAugustine added late insurance with 4:27 left in the third, banging a power play transition snapper off Moberg’s right elbow in a manner highly similar to Gates’ second tally.

“Matty’s second goal definitely gave us an idea where to shoot on the rush,” admitted DeAugustine, “but the big part of that play was the center drive, where Charlie [Mosey] crashed the net to give Moberg something else to think about. Our guys did that perfectly all night and it paid off twice.”

The Bobcats iced the game with a strong forecheck that was aided by a late Chill penalty, not allowing the puck below the top of the circles in their own zone after DeAugustine’s team-leading seventh marker.

Faragher made 23 saves to post his sixth win of the year while Moberg was the hard-luck loser, taking his first regulation loss despite stopping 34 shots.

“This weekend was extremely important for us as a team,” added Gates, “we viewed it as a test against a first-place team, and we finally started playing good, hard-working hockey to earn a big split. We think the split is misleading, too, because we feel like we dominated six periods of hockey against the team with the best winning percentage in the NAHL.

“The big thing will be carrying the lessons from this weekend through to games against the other teams in the Central.”

The Bobcats continue division play on Friday with a one-off road swing to Alexandria, Minn., where they’ll take on the third-place Blizzard in a 7:30 PM rematch of the 2010 Central Division Finals at the Runestone Center.

Friday’s road matchup will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide at Pre-game coverage will begin at 7:00 PM CT.

Season tickets are now on sale for the 2010-11 season! Call the Bobcat Hockey office at (701) 222-3300 or email for more information on reserving your seats for the entire season as the Bobcats look to defend the Robertson Cup!