ST. CLOUD, MINN.–Time continued to pass on the scoreboard at the St. Cloud Municipal Athletic Complex. While an infinite concept in playoff overtime, the Bismarck Bobcats and St. Cloud Norsemen both set out to break a 1-1 tie as quickly as possible.
The result was the longest game in Bobcats’ history. With 14:06 elapsed in the second overtime period on Saturday night, Ben Troumbly punched a loose puck past Norsemen goaltender Tomas Bolo to end what had turned into a marathon. The Bovey, Minn. native’s third career playoff goal with the club not only gave Bismarck a 2-1 victory, it tied the series and flipped home ice.
As impressive as the four-hour affair was, the difference in play from a 4-1 loss Friday stole the show from the beginning. After St. Cloud figured out the Bobcats’ offensive attack and won more puck battles than were acceptable, Bismarck flipped the script in game two. Fewer clearing attempts into the rafters, better board play, and keeping the Norsemen on the right side of the puck all factored into a strong defensive effort.
Michael Neumeier scored the Bobcats’ first goal 6:33 into the game. Max Strand’s early third period goal evened the score. Troumbly’s winner came on the game’s 109th shot on goal.
Oskar Spinnars Nordin stopped 59 of 60 Norsemen shots, his highest total all season. In total, the 20-year-old from Bollnas, Sweden has made 95 saves on 100 chances.
The best-of-five first-round matchup now shifts to the VFW Sports Center in Bismarck for games three and four. With the series tied at one game each, the Bobcats can clinch without having to set foot on the bus again.
Tickets for both games are on sale now! Use the “tickets” menu on our website to purchase online, or call the office at 701-222-3300 for assistance.