OWATONNA, MN – The Bismarck Bobcats held off the Owatonna Express Friday night with a 3-2 shootout win at the Four Seasons Centre, extending the Bobcats’ lead to two points for first place over the Express in the Central Division.
“It’s huge for us to come into a place where our team hasn’t played well historically and get two points,” said Bobcats team captain Matt Gates. “And when you look around the division and see Coulee Region and Aberdeen losing tonight, it’s a big boost for us.”
The Bobcats opened the scoring late in the first period when Nikolaj Rosenthal slammed home a net-side feed from Brett Bower to give the visitors a 1-0 lead with 5:13 left in the opening frame.
Owatonna quickly answered, however, when forward Blake Schammel took a defensive-zone turnover by the Bobcats and beat Bismarck netminder Ryan Faragher low-blocker to force a 1-1 tie just 37 seconds after Rosenthal’s marker.
After the first intermission, the Bobcats jumped back in front on Danny Ray’s first goal of the year when the Grand Forks native threaded a low power play slap shot through traffic and between the legs of Express goalie Charles Williams just 41 seconds into the second.
The Cats maintained the 2-1 edge until halfway through the third when Express defenseman Garrett Orhn converted an up-ice power play rush with 9:47 left in regulation.
Neither team could break through over the last nine-plus minutes or in the resulting overtime, forcing a decisive shootout.
Dan Zawacki opened the shootout with a goal, beating Williams five-hole to give the Cats a quick 1-0 shootout lead.
None of the next eight shooters could solve the goaltenders, leaving the game on the stick of Express forward Andy Singerhouse and the glove Faragher.
“Singerhouse came up my right side on his backhand, so I didn’t want to give him any room the post,” recalled Faragher. “He pulled it back to his forehand so I followed with him and got my glove in the right spot.”
Faragher squeezed Singerhouse’s effort, sealing the victory for the Cats—their first in a shootout in 2010-11.
The Fort Frances, Ont., native made 34 saves while picking up his seventh win of the year. Williams made 37 saves but fell to 5-4-0 on the season.
The two-game series will wrap up on Saturday with a 7:00 PM rematch at the Four Seasons Centre.
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/. As with all away games during the 2010-11 season, fans are encouraged to view the games each night at Reza’s Pitch—the official away game Home of the Bobcats—at the corner of Third and Front in Bismarck. Pre-game coverage will begin at at 6:30 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