BISMARCK, ND–It was another ugly game played in a style the Bobcats just do not care for.
Three power play goals were not enough for the Bobcats, as Brookings would score twice on the power play and once shorthanded to earn a 4-3 win in Bismarck Saturday night, sweeping the weekend.
Bismarck (28-17-4) peppered Blizzard netminder Connor Girard with 30 shots, but Girard moved his record with Brookings (15-28-7) to 9-11-1, a reason for the resurgence in the playoff race.
After a penalty-ridden game Friday night against a Blizzard team making a living clogging the center of the ice, the game played to the exact same specifications Saturday. Twelve power plays and 32 minutes of penalty minutes led to stifled Bobcat chances and goals from long range, with only one even-strengh goal out of seven scored.
The two power play goals by Brookings came in the third period, sealing the game after a pair of second-period scores in the second period brought the Bobcats out of a 2-0 deficit.
Seth Blair (Bismarck, ND) took a slash at 3:26 of the third, and Filip Starzynski (Warsaw, Poland) was whistled for hooking 53 seconds later, leaving the Blizzard with over a minute of a five-on-three advantage.
Dominoes fell shortly thereafter.
Conor Andrle found the back of the net for the third time on the weekend, blasting a one-timer at 4:46, reclaiming the Brookings lead. The Bobcats got one penalized skater back, but could not kill the remaining time, as Jared Goudreau tallied the eventual game winner, redirecting a Joey Lindberg shot from center in at 5:21.
Tyler Dunagan (Maple Grove, MN) and Evan Giesler (Naperville, IL) led a Bobcat comeback after Brandon Parker took his third penalty for the Blizzard. Dunagan won a physical draw against Russ Jordan, stepped beyond him, and found Giesler on the doorstep. Giesler lifted the puck of f the bottom of the crossbar to finish, pulling the Bobcats within one at 10:59.
But the Bobcats could not close anymore ground, despite two more chances with the man advantage, including 49 seconds of a six-on-four to end the game with the Bobcat net empty.
The most glaring goal of the night was the sixth shorthanded goal allowed by the Bobcats this season. Evan Hesse took a long pass between a pair of Bobcats attempting to hold the puck in the Brookings zone on the power play. Hesse broke up ice and scored at 19:28 of the first, building a 2-0 Bobcat lead.
Nate Repensky (Duluth, MN) and Huba Sekesi (Munich, Germany) both struck with long-range goals on the power play in the second to tie the game, keeping the Bobcats in contention. But the lone even-strength and full-strength goal of the night was Goudreau’s score in the first, slamming a Jordan backhanded crosser in at 13:22.
The Bobcats host Aberdeen in the first of three contests in a row between themselves and the Wings Friday night. Tickets are available at 222-3300 or online at www.bismarckbobcats.com.