BISMARCK, ND–Three straight wins have powered the Bismarck Bobcats back within three points of the NAHL Central Division lead after a 4-1 win over the Brookings Blizzard in Bismarck Friday night.
Matt Perry (Lakeville, MN) recorded the gamewinner halfway through the second-period, keying three straight Bobcat goals the end the game and bring Bismarck (15-7-2) to 32 points in the division. Austin’s 3-2 loss at the Minnesota Wilderness kept the Bruins, whom the Bobcats swept last weekend, at 35.
"It was a good win," Bobcat head coach Layne Sedevie summed up Friday night. "We were a little complacent at the start, but we created opportunities. Our four lines have really solidified, and I like to roll four lines. It wears on teams."
Those four lines produced terrific balance Friday night. Bismarck recorded 12 points from 11 different players. Only Nate Repensky (Duluth, MN), with a goal and an assist, recorded multiple points.
Of note was a power play goal on a tremendous play by Stanislav Dzakhov (Moscow, Russia) to widen the gap to 3-1. He dashed ahead of the defense, but was hit from behind, and, as he fell, reached with the stick for a poke that was just enough to beat Brookings netminder Connor Girard. The Bobcat power play entered the night at 13.9%, 15th in the NAHL.
"I thought our power play was good tonight," Sedevie explained. "We hit a couple of posts tonight. Stan’s goal was just great effort. He caught Girard in between."
Huba Sekesi (Munich, Germany) began the scoring with a pretty effort of his own, slashing into the slot between two defenders with enough hesitation to position the puck on his forehand, winning with a wrister at 1:24 of the second for a 1-0 Bobcat edge.
Brookings Beau Michand answered at the 7:00 mark, finishing a strong center from Jeff Flicker on a two-on-one that equalized the game. Perry’s first goal of the season came less than three minutes later, as Brendan Harris (Las Vegas, NV) backhanded a centering pass of his own from the left circle, and Perry chipped it past Girard for the eventual gamewinner at 9:34 of the second.
Dzakhov added to the lead with his jab on the power play at 18:13 of the second for a 3-1 edge, and Nate Repensky (Duluth, MN) finished the scoring, finished a Tyler Dunagan (Maple Grove, MN) pass with a quick shot from the high slot to produce the final 4-1 score at 13:31 of the third.
The Bobcats face Brookings on the road Saturday night at 7:15 p.m. The game broadcast will be heard on Supertalk 1270 KLXX, with pregame at 6:50 p.m.
–Dzakhov now leads the Bobcats in goals scored, with 13, breaking a tie with Filip Starzynski (Warsaw, Poland). Starzynksi continues to lead the Bobcats in scoring, registering an assist Friday night for his 27th point.
–Repensky now has 25 points on the year, and remains 14th in the NAHL. Starzynski’s 27 are 8th best in the league.
–Three straight wins equals the second-longest win streak of the year. Bismarck won five in a row from September 27th to October 11th, and three in a row from October 19th through Ocotber 26th.
–The Bobcats remain unbeaten in regulation at home, now with an 11-0-1 record. The Austin Bruins are the only other team unbeaten in regulation on their home ice. Austin has yet to lose overall at home.