BISMARCK, ND–Shootouts seem to equal wins for the Bismarck Bobcats.
After allowing Jon Lizotte a game-tying goal early in the third, then skating scoreless through the extra session, the Bobcats made one shootout goal count in a 3-2 win over the Minot Minotauros in Minot Friday night.
Nate Repensky (Duluth, MN) scored the lone goal of the shootout during the third round, and Aaron Nelson (Bismarck, ND) turned away two quality shooters in Alexander Kasitsyn and Scott Dornbrock to earn the Bobcats an extra point.
"I couldn’t watch the last two shots. I"ll have to watch them on film," commented Bobcat head coach Layne Sedevie. "But he’s the best goaltender in the league."
Repensky’s goal in the shootout was pure art. Charging down the heart of the ice, he suddenly pulled up in the high slot, then tip-toed his way toward Minot goalie Brandon Wildung, playing off both edges of the blade. He chipped a backhander past Wildung’s stick for the gamewinner.
"Its funny, if you look back, defensemen seem to have great efforts in shootouts. I remember when Johnny Clark was a Bobcat, he must have been 10 for 10 in shootouts. The Ds just perform," said Sedevie.
The win was the fourth in four shootout tries for the Bobcats (17-7-2), who gained two points on first-place Austin, as the Bruins were beaten for the first time at home this season, falling to Brookings 3-1 Friday night.
Huba Sekesi (Munich, Germany) broke a scoreless tie in the second period, finishing a Repensky feed by scoring top shelf with a backhand chip at 2:38 of the second. Tanner Holmquist equalized the game by forcing a puck through Nelson’s pads with a generous roll at 13:12.
Tyler Dunagan (Maple Grove, MN) scored on the power play with a one-timer off of a pass from Cullen Willox (Eagan, MN)at to put the Bobcats back on top 2-1 at 18:52 of the second. Willox picked up his eighth point against Minot this season, the most of any Bobcat.
Lizotte forced overtime by scooping a rebound past Nelson’s glove at 3:06 of the third for his third goal and his fifth point against the Bobcats this season. Half of the 10 points for last year’s North Dakota Mr. Hockey have come against Bismarck.
Minot earned a power play with 2:55 left, but changed in most of it with a penalty of their own 41 seconds later. The elongated four-on-four produced little in the way of opportunity, and a short Bobcat power play came up empty, sending the game to overtime, which also saw few opportunities.
Repensky backed up Matt Anders (Lafayette, CO) and Sekesi, who were stopped in the first two rounds of the shootout. Newly acquired Jacob McDowell (Dimondale, MI) and Stanislav Dzakhov (Moscow, Russia) couldn’t widen the lead, but Nelson’s effort, turning away five shots, secured the win.
The Bobcats return home Saturday night to face the Minotauros in the second half of the home-and-home weekend. Faceoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Fans are encouraged to toss teddy bears on the ice after the first Bobcat goal Saturday, as the bears will be collected and distributed to less-fortunate children by the Salvation Army and Sanford Children’s Hospital as Christmas gifts.
Tickets are still available by calling 222-3300 or by online purchase at www.bismarckbobcats.com. Pregame coverage will begin at 6:50 p.m. on Supertalk 1270 KLXX.