Bobcats Start Strong, Hold off Blizzard 3-1
BROOKINGS, SD – The Bismarck Bobcats scored the first three goals of the game Friday then used a strong defensive and goaltending effort to pick up a stifling 3-1 win over the Brookings Blizzard at the Larson Ice Center.
Leading goal-scorer Ty Enns got the Bobcats started Friday on the power play, giving the visitors a 1-0 edge by tapping home a back-door pass from Alex Pollock with 13:51 left in the first period.
Enns’ marker gave the Cats’ power play goals in three straight games after scoring just once on the man advantage in the first nine contests of 2017-18.
A pretty cut to the net by Luke Millen doubled the lead to 2-0 at the 7:24 mark of the opening stanza as the second-year winger stickhandled through the Brookings defense before wristing one over the glove of Blizzard netminder Zachary Borgiel for his third tally of the year.
Bobcat goalie Ryan Ullan weathered an early second-period blitz by the home side, turning aside seven consecutive shots by the Blizzard in the first six minutes of the frame.
Rookie forward Adam Stacho then pushed the score out to 3-0 in favor of the Cats, fighting through contact in the right-wing circle to control a bouncing puck and beat Borgiel high to the glove side with 12:23 left in the second.
Brookings spoiled Ullan’s shutout bid with 7:22 to go in the middle period when Blizzard winger Jimmy Elser struck in transition—using a screen in transition to pop one inside the right post for a 3-1 score heading into the third.
In the final frame, Ullan stopped all nine shots he faced and the Bobcat penalty kill stood tall, negating a pair of Brookings power plays, to nail down the 3-1 victory.
In all, Ullan turned away 31 of 32 Blizzard shots to improve to 5-3-0 and win his fourth straight start. Borgiel piled up 26 saves but suffered his first NAHL loss.
Both sides will now regroup, hoping to close out the weekend strong with a Saturday rematch at Larson Ice Center, slated for a 7:05pm puck drop.
Saturday’s divisional dustup will be broadcast live locally on Super Talk 1270 AM, the radio home of the Bismarck Bobcats, and worldwide at HockeyTV.com, the official web broadcast partner of the North American Hockey League. Pre-game coverage will begin at 6:40pm.
Pro-rated season tickets are still on sale for the Bobcats’ 2017-18 campaign: lock in the best seats now and be here for all the action! Visit BismarckBobcats.com or call 222-3300 for more info.