BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats poured in five goals in the second period and cruised to a 5-1 win Saturday at the VFW Sports Center to complete a two-game weekend sweep of the Dawson Creek Rage and secure their league-best 13th win of 2011-12.
Scoreless after the first 20 minutes, the Bobcats sprinted out of the gates in the second period when Castan Sommer smashed home a Patrick Moore rebound 48 seconds in for a 1-0 edge for the home side.
Tyler Richter extended the lead to 2-0 1:18 later, crushing an off-balance, power play one-timer from Dan Zawacki through the legs of Rage goalie Edward Dyson, breaking the Bobcats’ two-game power play drought.
“Patience and passing were huge on the ‘PP’ [Saturday] for sure,” credited Richter, who totaled three goals on the weekend, “you look at the pass Danny gave me and the way the puck moved all night, it’s easy to see why the result was so much better when they went to the box.”
Zawacki followed Richter’s power play strike with one of his own, collecting a Danny Ray rebound and waiting out Dyson for a top-shelf wrist shot 5:49 into the second for a 3-0 lead.
Shane Omdahl kept the rally going with 11:28 left in the middle frame, faking a pass to Moore before beaming a snap shot under Dyson’s glove to make it 4-0.
Richter put a cap on the rally, stinging home a Bryce Schmitt rebound 55 seconds after Omdahl’s tally for a 5-0 lead that the Bobcats would successfully protect.
The only goal of the third period went to Dawson Creek’s Keenan Bailey, who spoiled Bobcat goalie Aaron Nelson’s shutout with 26 seconds left, deflecting a Bob Turnbull shot over Nelson for the final 5-1 score.
Nelson, a Bismarck native, finished with 17 saves and his second straight win—in his first start in front of his home town fans.
“I was probably running on raw nerves through the first half of the game,” admitted Nelson, “but the guys in front of me just never allowed Dawson Creek to get any really good chances. They made my life so much easier.”
Dyson, replaced after Richter’s second goal, made 25 saves but took the loss. Jack Surgenor saved all 16 shots he faced but did not factor into the decision.
The Bobcats strike out on the road for their second-longest road trip of the year for the first of two games at the Coulee Region Chill at 7:00 PM on Friday.
Friday’s rematch of the 2011 Central Division Finals will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide on the official internet television partner of the NAHL, FASTHockey, at http://nahl.fasthockey.com. Pregame coverage gets under way at 6:30. Fans can watch the game—and all away contests—live at Reza’s Pitch at Third and Front in Bismarck, the official away game home of Bobcat Hockey.
Season tickets are now on sale for the 2011-12 season—and going fast! Call the Bobcat Hockey office at (701) 222-3300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on reserving a pro-rated package for this season!