AUSTIN, MN – The Bismarck Bobcats got their first series sweep of the 2010-11 season in their first two-game set against a divisional opponent, downing the Austin Bruins 3-1 Saturday night to seize the full four standings points from the Bruins on the weekend at Riverside Arena.
Saturday’s first period had a totally different feel from Friday’s scoreless opening frame as Bobcat forward Matt Gates opened the scoring 10:48 into the stanza, taking a deflected pass from Dan Zawacki and rolling it through the legs of Bruins goalie Alex Cantrell to boost the visitors to a 1-0 lead.
The Bruins had an answer less than two minutes later on the power play as forward Charlie Adams shook loose at the near post and drove home a clean feed from Alex Tesensky past Bobcat netminder Ryan Faragher to knot the game at one and give Austin their first goal of the weekend with with 7:16 left in the first.
Just over two minutes after Adams’ equalizer, the Bobcats responded on the power play as Nikolaj Rosenthal found space between Bruin penalty killers and powered in his fourth of the year to restore the Cats to a 2-1 lead at the 5:13 mark in the first.
After a fight between Bismarck’s Dalton Spicer and Austin’s Connor Quinn opened the second period, Bobcat forward Frank DeAugustine put back his own rebound to extend the lead to 3-1 just 36 seconds into the period—the last goal either side would register.
The goalies took center stage from there, combining to stop the last 32 shots of the contest.
For the Cats, Zawacki snapped a three-game scoreless streak by registering three assists in the win on a line with DeAugustine and leading scorer Charlie Mosey.
“Our line is already developing a really strong chemistry,” noted Zawacki, who has seven points (1-6-7) in nine games, “we find each other well and all three of us work well down low so we put on a good forecheck and make things happen.”
Faragher stopped 26 shots on the way to his fifth win of the season while Cantrell made 24 saves but took the “L” in his first NAHL start.
Combined with the Coulee Region Chill’s 6-4 loss at Aberdeen, the Bobcats (6-3-1) climbed back into a first-place tie with the Chill (6-1-1) at 13 points.
“You look at this team, you can see the pieces coming together for something special,” said Gates, who now has eight points (4-4-8) in as many games. “We’ve got a young team, but there’s a lot of talent and guys who are willing to work hard. If we can keep building on our work ethic, look out.”
The Bobcats wrap up their three-game Minnesota road swing on Sunday with a 12:00 PM contest with the archrival Owatonna Express at the Four Seasons Centre.
Sunday’s contest will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide at http://nahl.fasthockey.com/. Pre-game coverage will begin at 11:30 AM CT.
Season tickets are now on sale for the 2010-11 season! Call the Bobcat Hockey office at (701) 222-3300 or email email@example.com for more information on reserving your seats for the entire season as the Bobcats look to defend the Robertson Cup!
2010 ROBERTSON CUP CHAMPIONS