ONALASKA, WI – The Bismarck Bobcats poured in two shorthanded goals and wore down the Coulee Region Chill for a 4-1 win Saturday at the Onalaska Omni Center to merit a weekend split in a rematch of the 2011 Central Division Finals.
With a scoreless game after the first period, Tyler Richter got the scoring started 2:38 into the second, rocketing a one-timer from Filip Starzynski through the legs of Coulee Region goalie Aaron Davis to boost the visitors to a 1-0 lead.
Just 2:17 later, though, the Chill stretched the ice for a 2-on-1 rush as Ross Luedtke muscled the puck to the front of the Bobcat net for David Ripple to pop in past Bobcat netminder Aaron Nelson to knot the game at one.
Nick Miglio, celebrating his 20th birthday on Saturday, gave the Bobcats the lead for good with a shorthanded strike, chasing his own rebound off a breakaway past Davis with 7:20 left for his seventh goal of the season.
“Ryan Callahan made a nice chip down the wall and it took a nice hop past the ‘D’ to open things up,” recalled Miglio, who raced through the Coulee Region defense to trigger the scoring chance. “The whole thing was set up by good neutral zone pressure and then maybe a little good luck.”
Richter followed in the third with the second straight shorthanded tally, finishing a 2-on-1 with a rising slapshot that handcuffed Davis, bouncing off his glove and in to balloon the lead to 3-1 with 12:52 left in regulation.
Bryce Schmitt closed the scoring with 34 second left, banging home a Richter rebound for the final 4-1 margin.
Nelson made 22 saves to pick up his third straight win, though he only needed nine stops in the second and third period to secure the victory.
“There wasn’t a lot to do at some times, so staying focused was important,” noted Nelson, who improved his GAA to 1.65 on the year, “I would come out and play the puck, talk to the guys on the breakout—whatever it took to keep my head in the game.”
Davis turned back 42 Bobcat attempts fell to 8-6-2 on the year.
The Bobcats return home for a big rivalry weekend, with games at the VFW Sports Center on Friday against the Minot Minotauros and Saturday against the Aberdeen Wings.
Friday’s weekend opener will be broadcast locally 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 gets under way at 6:45.
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 a pro-rated package for this season!