Bobcats Settle for Split as Win Streak Ends
BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats saw two different two-goal leads by the boards as the Minot Minotauros rallied for a 6-5 win Saturday at the VFW Sports Center, halting the Cats’ win streak at four.
Posted to a 3-2 edge after one, the Bobcats faltered in the second as Minot scored two goals in a span of 30 seconds from Chase Springman and Zack Bross to send the visitors ahead 4-3 with 4:06 left in the frame, ending the night of Bobcat goalie Hunter Shepard.
Just 46 seconds later, however, defenseman Jordan Fralich tied it up at four, zipping a low shot that deflected through the legs of Minot netminder Lucas Murray.
Unfortunately for the Bobcats, Austin Martinsen pushed the Minotauros back ahead at 5-4 three minutes into the third, shaking loose on the rush and ripping one over the blocker of Bobcat replacement keeper Nick DeSimone.
Tyler Jeanson followed up with a power play goal at the 5:45 mark, chipping the puck over a sprawling DeSimone on a net-front scramble to stretch Minot’s advantage to 6-4.
A mere 1:09 later, Travis Wood dialed up a power play strike of his own, cranking a one-timer from Patrik Demel over Murray’s glove and in to bring the Cats back within one at 6-5.
Despite a flurry of shots and scoring chances in the final 1:24 after pulling DeSimone for an extra attacker, the Bobcats could not crack Murray one last time and the Minotauros held on to end their four-game losing skid.
It was a fast start Saturday for the Bobcats, grabbing a two goal lead less than six and a half minutes into the game—as they had the previous night—on back-to-back tallies from Willie Brown and Solag Bakich for a quick 2-0 score.
Minot got on the board with 9:57 to go in the first when Christian Mohs snapped in a wide-open one-timer from Bross.
Blueliner Patrik Demel used a little bit of luck to push it back to a two-goal game at 3-1, earning a power play goal when he wobbled a low shot to the net that Murray misjudged, allowing it in through the five-hole 81 seconds after Mohs’ marker.
Mohs, however, had a big answer for the Minotauros, fighting in a Jeanson rebound with 3:03 to go in the opening frame to trigger Minot’s run of three straight goals.
DeSimone suffered his first regulation loss as a Bobcat, making nine saves in relief of Shepard, who stopped nine shots. Murray secured the win behind 18 denials; the Virginia, Minn., native has backstopped all four of Minot’s wins against the Cats.
The Bobcats now turn their attention to a home-and-home series against the Aberdeen Wings, starting Friday with a 7:15pm home date.
Tickets are now on sale for the Wings’ first visit to the capital: fans can buy and print tickets 24 hours a day at BismarckBobcats.com, by clicking “Shop Now” on the team Facebook page or by calling 222-3300.
Friday’s go-round in the Titan Machinery Dakota Cup will be broadcast live 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 pregame coverage starting at 6:45pm.
Season tickets are still on sale for the 2015-16 season at a pro-rated price; if you want to beat the rush of over 40,000 fans for this year, now is the time! Call 222-3300 to reserve your seats today.