BISMARCK, N.D.–The Bismarck Bobcats began a rivalry-filled month of December with a 6-1 win over the Aberdeen Wings at the VFW Sports Center on Friday.
The Bobcats (10-11-3) scored five unanswered goals over the last 35 minutes of the game to turn a 1-1 tie into a blowout victory. Adam Pietila had Bismarck’s only first period goal. Brandon Reller (2), Calvin Hanson, Drew Holt, and Vertti Jantunen all contributed to the Bobcats’ 5-0 scoring run.
“I don’t think it feels like a 6-1 win,” head coach Layne Sedevie said. “I thought we were pretty opportunistic in the third (period) when we really needed to be.”
The shots on goal would suggest a more even game, too. The Bobcats and Wings were neck-and-neck getting chances throughout the night, with lots of end-to-end and transition play. The Bobcats led 3-1 with nine minutes to play in regulation before ripping three goals in a span of 1:34.
“When we’re moving our feet, that’s when we’re effective,” Sedevie said. “You don’t have to be 6-foot-4. I thought Vertti Jantunen, Julian Beaumont, and Adam Pietila were by far our best line, the most consistent line. Pits can obviously hold his own, but Vertti and Beau were moving their feet. They just creative havoc and that is hard to play against.”
This win was impressive for many reasons, one of which being the scoring-by-committee nature of this team. The Bobcats are the only team in the central division to have four players with at least 19 points. Those top four scorers combined for only one point in this game.
Reller shined the brightest on the box score with a two-goal performance, his second multi-goal game as a Bobcat. The 6’4″ 210-pound centerman has played his best hockey with the group over the last month.
“(Reller) can be the best player on the ice,” Sedevie said. “There is nobody that wants to play against him. He is 6-foot-4, he can skate like the wind for a big man … Probably the best skater I have had as a legitimate big man.”
With two standings points earned, the Bobcats can tie Aberdeen for fourth place with a duplicate performance on Saturday night. Tickets for a 7:15 p.m. puck drop are on sale at tickets.bismarckbobcats.com.