Bobcats Run Afoul of Monroe’s Hot Night in 3-0 Loss
CLOQUET, MN – Despite large stretches of strong play and out-chancing their opposition, the Bismarck Bobcats could not solve netminder Chase Monroe and fell 3-0 to the Minnesota Wilderness Saturday at Northwoods Credit Union Arena, settling for a weekend split with the defending league champs.
The Cats came out firing Saturday, getting numerous grade-A chances in the game’s first five minutes, but Monroe dazzled from the start, making glove and kick saves to keep the visitors off the board.
It would take until the second period for Minnesota to break a scoreless tie, but just 1:40 into the middle frame blueliner Tristan Rostagno ripped a low slap shot through traffic that Bobcat goalie could not recover to in time—giving the home side a 1-0 lead.
Just 4:28 later, the Wilderness doubled that advantage to 2-0 when rookie Koby Bender grabbed a Jake Hartje rebound and, while falling to his left managed to poke the puck past Shepard inside the right post.
Following Bender’s tally, the Cats pushed back with great chances by Aaron Herdt, Alex Strand and Solag Bakich but Monroe turned them all aside to keep Minnesota ahead by two.
In the third, Strand had the visitors’ best chance to get on the board but was denied by Monroe on a shorthanded 2-on-0 rush.
When the Cats pulled Shepard in a last-ditch effort to break Monroe’s spell, Bender broke up the right wing and floated a 60-footer over a shot-block attempt and into the empty net for the final 3-0 margin.
Shepard made 27 saves but could not avoid his first career loss in Cloquet while Monroe snagged his league-best 10th win on 22 stops.
Now the Cats turn their attention to a one-game road weekend: a 7:15pm Friday meeting with the rival Aberdeen Wings at the Odde Ice Center.
Round two of the Titan Machinery Dakota Cup will be broadcast live on locally SuperTalk 1270 AM, the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, and worldwide online at NAHL.FASTHockey.com—the official web television partner of the North American Hockey League—with pregame coverage starting at 7:00pm.
Season tickets are now on sale for the 2015-16 campaign; if you want to beat the rush of 40,000 fans for this season, now is the time! Call 222-3300 today to reserve your seats.
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