BISMARCK, N.D.–The Bismarck Bobcats welcomed St. Cloud into the VFW Sports Center hoping there would be no return trip to Minnesota. For the majority of the two-game set, things sure seemed that way.
The late-game heroics of Bismarck’s co-captain Jonathan Ziskie lifted the Bobcats in game three. Ziskie’s deflection at the net-front with 1:59 remaining in the third period gave his team a 2-1 win.
Game four was destined for that same final score, with goals by the Bobcats’ Paul Huglen and Adam Pietila. St. Cloud’s Nik Hong jammed a puck past Bismarck goaltender Oskar Spinnars Nordin with 5:01 on the clock in regulation. Despite contact against Spinnars Nordin on the play, referees allowed the goal to stand.
That goal turned out to save the first-place Norsemen’s season. Peyton Hanson secured a game four victory with a goal at 13:29 of overtime. A 3-2 St. Cloud win was the third consecutive one-goal result in the series.
The two teams face off in a winner-take-all game five at 7:00 p.m. on Monday night at the Municipal Athletic Complex in St. Cloud. The winner meets the Aberdeen Wings in a best-of-five second round series beginning Friday.
The matchup is one of five series in the North American Hockey League’s Robertson Cup playoffs to reach the maximum number of games. It is the Bobcats’ sixth such contest in 19 NAHL seasons, and the first five-game series since 2016, when the club defeated Austin.
Fans can tune in to the live broadcast on SuperTalk 1270 (free radio), HockeyTV (paid video), or at Stonehome Brewing Company in Bismarck.