BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats battled through a wild second period—one that saw all the night’s goals, fourteen major penalties and seven ejections—and shut out the Austin Bruins 2-0 Friday at the VFW Sports Center.
Scoreless after the first period, the Bobcats drew first blood 5:41 into the second on the power play as Dan Zawacki lined home a Donald Olivieri rebound past Bruins goalie Keegan Asmundson, boosting the home side to a 1-0 lead.
“Our power play is starting to play a lot smarter,” noted Zawacki of the Bobcat extra man unit, which has connected nine times in the last seven games, “we’re doing the little things: making the right pass, attacking on entry, getting shots to the net. Those things add up and turn into goals.”
The teams battled for the next nine minutes of hockey before a collision between the Bobcats’ Grant Mindt and John Kirby touched off a line brawl that eventually turned into a goalie fight as Asmundson charged from the Austin net all the way to the Bobcat goal line to fight Ryan Faragher.
All twelve players involved in the line brawl were given fighting majors while Faragher, Asmundson, Mindt, Kirby, Dawson Kuhlman, Jeremy Finger and new Bobcat Blake Schammel were all ejected from the game. There was one more fight on the ensuing faceoff between Rodney LaLonde and Nolan Kirley, bringing the total to 14 major penalties over the course of two seconds of hockey.
The Bobcats regained their composure after the series of fights and were able to control the action afterward.
“I told our guys that what happened on the ice was over, and we were going to leave it at that,” recalled Bobcats head coach Layne Sedevie. “With all the guys kicked out and all the guys sitting in the penalty box, we couldn’t afford to get dragged into any more dumb stuff.”
With Faragher and Asmundson ejected—and suspended for Saturday’s game—backup goalies Tommy Burke and Eamon McAdam entered the game for the Cats and Bruins, respectively, and the Bobcats were able to take advantage. Nikolaj Rosenthal beamed a low liner through traffic past McAdam with just 28 seconds left in the middle frame to give the Cats the eventual margin of victory at 2-1.
Burke stepped in and stopped all six shots he faced, but Faragher and his 14 saves were credited with the win and the shutout—his fourth overall and third against Austin.
Asmundson was saddled with the loss, his 14th; McAdam made 8 saves with no decision.
The Bobcats and Bruins will wrap up their two-game set Saturday with a 7:15 PM rematch at the VFW Sports Center.
Saturday’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 6:45 PM CT.
Season tickets are now on sale for the 2010-11 season! Call the Bobcat Hockey office at (701) 222-3300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on reserving your seats for the entire season as the Bobcats look to defend the Robertson Cup!
2010 ROBERTSON CUP CHAMPIONS