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Bobcats Surge to Thrilling 4-3 Victory
BISMARCK, ND – Trailing with just over a minute left in the game, the Bismarck Bobcats scored twice in a 10-second span to shock the Minot Minotauros with a 4-3 win Friday at the VFW Sports Center.
Down 3-1 after two periods, Bobcat center Matt Barry closed the gap to one goal just 16 seconds into the third, blasting home a Tristan Ashbrook rebound in transition for a 3-2 score.
Over the next 19 minutes of hockey, the Bobcats sent wave after wave of attack at Minot netminder Lucas Murray, but the second-year backstop fended off the next 10 shots sent his way to keep the home side behind.
With 1:05 to go and goalie Will Ulrich pulled for an extra attacker, the Bobcats called a time out in advance of an offensive zone faceoff. On the drop, Nick Alexander won the puck pack to Tobias Fladeby, who ripped a wrister off Murray’s glove and in, tying the game at three with 1:02 left.
Off the ensuing faceoff, the Bobcats cleared the puck behind the Minot net. Murray came out to try and hold the dump-in, but misjudged the angle as it went between his legs; Alexander was waiting on the end wall in the left wing corner and threw the loose puck off a Minotauro defender and in with 52 seconds left for a 4-3 Bobcat lead, inciting a riotous celebration from the 1,178 partisans in attendance.
Minot tried to turn the tide in the final minute, but Ulrich and the Bobcat defense locked down, allowing just one shot to preserve the unlikely triumph.
It was the Bobcats who scored first Friday, just 80 seconds into the game when Joey Sardina stripped a Minotauro defender inside the left wing circle in the Minot and quickly snapped a low shot inside the left post for a 1-0 Bobcat advantage.
Forward Austin Koss pulled the visitors even at one with 2:16 left in the opening frame, deflecting a Nolan Sawchuk point shot through Ulrich’s legs for his first career goal.
A penalty-strewn second period—one that saw the bitter rivals combine for 67 penalty minutes—benefited the Minotauros, who got power play goals to start and finish the frame from Chase Springman and Tyler Jeanson, respectively, to give Minot a 3-1 edge through 40 minutes.
Ulrich—on the heels of announcing his Division I commitment to Air Force—piled up 36 saves for his eighth win of the season. Murray took just his third regulation loss on the season despite 23 stops.
Now the Bobcats head out on the road for a 7:30pm Saturday showdown at Larson Ice Center against the red-hot Brookings Blizzard.
Saturday’s road tilt will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270 AM, and worldwide on–the web television partner of the North American Hockey League–with pregame coverage starting at 7:00pm.
Pro-rated season tickets are now on sale for the Bobcats’ landmark platinum anniversary campaign fans can get more information or reserve their seats for all of Season Twenty now by calling 222-3300.