Offense Thrives as Cats Blast Jr. Blues
BLAINE, MN – Stinging from getting blown out on opening day, the Bismarck Bobcats showed off a little firepower, scoring six unanswered goals to thrash the Springfield Jr. Blues 6-1 Thursday at the Schwan Super Rink.
It was Springfield, however, who struck first as Max Kalter redirected a point shot from Lester Lancaster in past Bobcat netminder Alex Bitsakis with 11:04 left in the first period.
The Bobcats would finally get on the board with 2:10 to go in the opening frame after a Nick Wallace clear-out on the penalty kill eluded the Jr. Blue defense, springing Cullen Willox on a shorthanded breakaway that the second-year forward cashed in to tie the game headed into the first intermission.
Willox’s shorthanded tally seemed to spark the offense: with 6:55 left in the second, Alex Strand utilized traffic in front to thread a low backhander between the left post and Springfield goalie Jeremy Wik to give the Bobcats their first lead of the young season at 2-1.
Rookie Jared Turcotte extended that edge to 3-1 at the 2:46 mark of the middle stanza, deflecting a Ryan Callahan backhander home.
In the third, Willox kept the offense rolling, cashing in a Bobcat power play with a rocket from 10 feet out that hit off the right post and the crossbar before landing in the back of the net, pushing the lead to 4-1 with 8:29 left.
J.M. Piotrowski and Matt Perry put the finishing touches on the Cats’ scoring outburst, notching back-to-back goals in an 18-second span to give the game its final margin of 6-1.
Bitsakis, making his first start as a Bobcat, secured his first NAHL win behind 17 saves. Wik took the loss on 27 stops.
The Cats now turn their attention to a 10:30am Friday date with the Janesville Jets. In their only other meeting all-time, the Cats took down the Jets 5-2 at the 2013 Showcase.
Pregame coverage will begin for Friday’s matinee will begin at 10:00am locally on SuperTalk 1270, KLXX-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 the 2014-15 season now here, demand for season tickets is at an all-time high; fans who want to lock in their seats for the entire campaign should call the Bobcat office at 222-3300 today!