BISMARCK, N.D.–The Bismarck Bobcats defeated the North Iowa Bulls 3-1 at the VFW Sports Center on Saturday.
With two points on Saturday and one on Friday–a 2-1 shootout loss–the Bobcats earned three of a possible four standings points against North Iowa on home ice.
Bismarck dominated both games of the series. 41 shots on net on Friday resulted in only one goal. Saturday, the offense recorded three goals on 31 shots. Overall, possession time, shots, and faceoffs drastically favored the Bobcats all weekend.
“Overall it was a really solid effort,” head coach Layne Sedevie said. “I thought our first 40 (minutes) were as good as we have played in a long time. Sound all the way around … That is why we got two points tonight.”
The Bobcats scored twice in the first period Saturday. Luke Roelofs and Drew Holt cashed in their fifth and eighth of the season, respectively. Nick Baer scored his first career goal early in the second period to widen Bismarck’s lead to 3-0.
“I think this was the most consistent hockey we have played in quite some time,” Sedevie said. “When you back up efforts like last night with tonight … a lot of the time, you are going to come out on the right side and put yourselves in a good situation.”
The two-week, four-game series against North Iowa saw four defensive struggles, with neither team scoring more than three goals in any individual game. In total, the Bobcats scored seven goals and the Bulls had six.
Goaltending played a big part of the Bobcats’ success, too. Linards Lipskis returned from the World Junior Championship and stopped 28 of 29 shots on Friday. Hunter Garvey followed it up with a 24-for-25 performance on Saturday.
“You can look at the scoreboard,” Sedevie said. “We have done a pretty good job defending and are getting good goaltending now. If you can get three and defend well, you are going to win a lot of hockey games.”
The win is Bismarck’s 13th of the season and puts the team in a tie for fifth place with St. Cloud. A three-game weekend is up next against the rival Aberdeen Wings. Fans can catch the action at the VFW Sports Center on Friday and Saturday, January 19 and 20. Tickets are on sale at tickets.bismarckbobcats.com.