BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats rode a four-goal third period rally to a 5-2 win Saturday, sweeping the visiting Alexandria Blizzard out of the VFW Sports Center in front of a capacity crowd.
The win gives the Bobcats a decisive 12-1-0 win in their now-complete season series with Alexandria.
Trailing 2-1 after the second period, the Bobcats wasted no time in mounting their comeback as Tim Serratore evened the score at 2-2 just 20 seconds into the third, poking a loose puck through the legs of Alexandria netminder Jimmy Hamby.
Serratore’s first goal was the first of four straight for the Bobcats, and the Colorado Springs, Colo., native credited the home team’s physical tenacity for triggering the rally.
“[Saturday] was our most physical game of the year,” said Serratore. “A lot of our players, especially our bigger guys, played their role to perfection and made a huge impact on the outcome of the game.”
The equalizer stood as the lone goal of the third period for just over 13 minutes until Bobcats second-leading scorer Casey Kleisinger finished a strong forechecking play by jamming a Sean McKenzie rebound into the Blizzard net to boost the Bobcats to a 3-2 lead.
After killing off late penalties to John Avino and Sean McKenzie, the ‘Cats extended their lead to 4-2 with 44 seconds left and Hamby pulled for the extra attacker as Jason Fabian stole the puck in the Alexandria zone and swatted it into the empty net.
Serratore capped the scoring 34 seconds later with his second of the night, finding a wide-open lane to the front of the Blizzard net and beating Hamby to cap the four-goal explosion, giving the Bobcats the final 5-2 margin.
The Bobcats opened the scoring 6:05 into the game when Ryan Jacobson took a give-and-go pass from Tyler Klein and rocketed a snap shot into the top corner of the Alexandria net for the 1-0 edge.
“We were coming down 3-on-2 and Tyler drew the ‘D’ and got the puck back to me, making it a 2-on-1 with me and Timmy [Serratore],” recalled Jacobson. “The other defenseman went right to Tim and I had a great look for the shot.”
Alexandria evened the score seven and a half minutes later as forward Logan Romano grabbed the puck off a broken entry play into the Bobcats zone and lined a turn-around shot under Bismarck goalie Ryan Faragher’s glove for a 1-1 tie.
The Blizzard took the lead late in the second with a 5-on-3 power play goal from Simon Cederborg-Nilsson, who buried an easy one-time shot off a touch pass from Kyle Clay past a spawling Faragher with 5:14 remaining in the second.
Before Saturday’s furious rally, the Bobcats had only come back to win when trailing after two periods once—a 4-3 overtime win over North Iowa on New Year’s Day.
Faragher made 31 saves and pulled to within one of the league lead in wins with his 21st victory of the year.
Hamby dropped his first start as a Blizzard, stopping 22 shots but falling to 4-10-1 overall on the 2009-10 campaign.
The win extends the Bobcats’ (34-10-8, 76 pts) first place lead over the Owatonna Express (29-21-4, 62 pts) to a full 14 points; the Bobcats have already clinched the top spot in the Central Division playoffs by virtue of Friday’s 3-2 overtime win over the Blizzard.
The Bobcats will continue their four-game March homestand on Friday when they welcome the Owatonna Express to the VFW Sports Center for the first of two games at 7:15 PM.
Friday’s 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 6:45 PM.
You won\’t want to miss any of the games this season, so order your pro-rated Season Tickets, Family Packs and Group Nights 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.