The Bismarck Bobcats made a late push but could not find an equalizer as the Kenai River Brown Bears pulled away for a 5-2 win Friday at the Soldotna Sports Center.
The loss ends the Bobcats’ first winning streak of the season at two.
Trailing 3-0 late, the Bobcats got a lift from the officials. While on a power play in the Brown Bears’ end, it appeared forward Emerson Auvenshine had rolled a puck past Bears goalie Jimmy Hamby, but head official T.J. Nua waved off the goal. At the next stoppage—some three minutes later—Nua conferred with the goal judge and awarded Auvenshine with his second tally of the year.
The clock was reset to 6:18 and the ‘Cats went to work. With 2:42 remaining, Casey Kleisinger used a John Avino pass to deke around Hamby and chip home his fourth of the year to cut the lead to 3-2.
The Brown Bears created late separation, however, as the Bobcats pulled goalie Ryan Massa and, out of a Bismarck time-out, Kenai River forward Brad Duwe raced the length of the ice and popped a wrist shot into the empty net with 1:27 remaining for a 4-2 Bears lead.
Kenai River closed the scoring with 24 seconds left when a Josh Royston backhander deflected off a Bobcat defender and past Massa for the final 5-2 margin.
The home side ran out to an early lead just 6:32 into the first when Brown Bear captain Jed McGlasson beat starting Bobcat netminder Ryan Faragher with a shorthanded wrist shot for a 1-0 lead.
In the second, it was a pair of Micki Mihailovich power play goals in the first six minutes of the middle frame to extend the lead to 3-0 in favor of Kenai River.
Following the second Mihailovich tally, Massa replaced Faragher for the rest of the game, finishing with 11 saves but no decision. Faragher (2-3-1) took the loss, making 18 saves before Massa entered.
Hamby (2-3-1) picked up the win on 24 saves.
The Bobcats and Brown Bears wrap up their two-game set Saturday with a 10:30 PM contest from the Soldotna Sports Center.
Saturday’s game will be the Bobcats’ final non-division game of the 2009-2010 season.
The series finale 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 10:00 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.