BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats got offense from the usual suspects and picked up a strong tandem goaltending effort from Brandon Wildung and Austin Schmid en route to a 4-1 victory in their preseason finale against the Minot Minotauros Saturday at the VFW Sports Center.
Frankie DeAugustine tallied his second goal of the weekend with late in the first, batting home a Charlie Aus rebound on the power play to boost the Bobcats to a 1-0 lead.
With 2:23 left in the frame Bryce Schmitt doubled the lead to 2-0 when he picked another Aus rebound out of midair and ticked it through goalie Darren Meddler’s five-hole.
Wildung and Schmid combined to keep the Tauros off the board for the first 40 minutes while Minot netminder Tim Shaughnessy was a perfect 14-for-14 on shots faced in the second period in relief of Meddler.
The Bobcats pushed the lead to 3-0 1:44 into the third as DeAugustine combined with linemate Tyler Richter for a pretty give-and-go strike for DeAugustine’s third goal of the weekend. In all, the Burgettstown, Penn., native racked up three goals and three assists in the Cats’ two-game preseason schedule.
Shane Omdahl notched his third goal of the weekend for the home side, popping in a Filip Starzynski rebound past relief goalie Jake Hebda for a 4-0 edge.
Minot’s Cote Dickerson spoiled the tandem shutout with just 66 seconds left in regulation, converting a defensive zone turnover by the Bobcats into a rising blast past Schmid for the final 4-1 score.
Shortly after the game went final, the Bobcats’ minds were already moving past a successful preseason.
“Now it’s time for us to get our roster finalized and start preparing for [season-opening opponent] New Mexico,” said Schmitt, who has been named one of the Bobcats’ captains for 2011-12. “We’re happy we got a couple wins but we know that there’s plenty of work to be done between now and Wednesday night.”
Finalizing the roster will be a bit of a challenge for Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, as he has to trim a roster of 31 down to 25 before the Combat Hockey NAHL Showcase begins Wednesday.
“I’m not looking forward to making these decisions and having difficult conversations with some great kids who really bought into our program,” admitted Sedevie, who improved his preseason record to 4-0 behind the bench Saturday. “But ultimately it’s a good problem to have; every coach would rather have too much talent and too many kids who work their butts off than not enough.”
The puck will drop on the 2011-12 season against the New Mexico Mustangs at 7:45 PM. The Bobcats will continue their Showcase schedule with a 4:30 PM Thursday start against the Alaska Avalanche and a 5:00 PM Friday matchup against the defending South Division Champion Amarillo Bulls. They’ll wrap up the Showcase with a 4:00 PM Saturday contest against the expansion Kalamazoo Junior K-Wings.
All four games will be broadcast local 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 will begin 30 minutes before the start of each game.
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 your seats for the upcoming season!
2011 CENTRAL DIVISION CHAMPIONS