MASON CITY, IA – The Bismarck Bobcats withstood a late rally from the North Iowa Outlaws and picked up their first Central Division win of the season 3-2 at the North Iowa Ice Arena Saturday.
Facing an early 1-0 deficit following a Mickey Knox goal for North Iowa just over five minutes into the game, the Bobcats went to work in their first trip to Mason City.
With 4:07 left in the first, forward Nick Jensen took a Tim Serratore entry pass into the Outlaws’ zone and ripped a low snap shot between the legs of North Iowa goalie Paul Moberg to tie the game at 1-1.
“Coach [Byron] Pool put together a nice combination out there with me and Timmy and Sean [McKenzie],” said Jensen. “We moved the puck well in transition and it all came together with that goal.”
Nearly three minutes later, the Bobcats pulled ahead on a 4-on-2 odd-man rush when defenseman Sam Rendle threaded a perfect back-door feed to forward Ryan Jacobson who popped it into a wide-open net, making it 2-1 Bobcats.
Jacobson wasn’t finished though, as he took another pass from Rendle early in the second into the Outlaw zone and blistered a wrist shot over Moberg’s glove for a 3-1 edge.
“Sam had a great game [Saturday],” said Jacobson, “he moved the puck really well all night, especially in transition. It seemed he was always looking for me out there and we made pay off with a couple goals.”
The Bobcats seemed ready to cruise to victory in the third period with that 3-1 lead until a freak collision along side the Bismarck net caused the cage to crash down onto Bobcat netminder Ryan Massa, who lay motionless on the ice for a number of minutes before getting up and being helped off the ice by teammates with 15:51 remaining.
With Massa out, North Iowa attempted to mount a furious rally against relief goalie Ryan Faragher. Outlaw captain Ryan Bohrer brought the game within one goal with a short-handed tally with 7:42 left in regulation.
Faragher, though, made a series of big saves down the stretch to make the 3-2 margin stand up including four impressive glove saves, giving fellow keeper Massa his second win of the year (2-4-1).
“It was really unfortunate what happened to Ryan, but did what we could to make the best of it,” said Jacobson. “We got mad and kept the intensity up and that helped us pull out the win for him.”
Massa finished the night with 18 saves. No update was given the injury to the Littleton, Colo., native, who left the arena in an ambulance.
The Bobcats wrap up their division-opening road swing with a 5:00 PM Sunday rematch with the Owatonna Express at the Four Seasons Centre in Owatonna, Minn.
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 4:30 PM.
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 at 701-222-3300 or by e-mailing the office for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.