Bobcats Stunned in Brookings
BROOKINGS, SD – The Bismarck Bobcats will want to forget their first ever regular season trip to Larson Ice Center, where they watched the Brookings Blizzard stage a stunning rally to top the Bobcats 4-3 Friday.
Leading 3-2 after two periods, the Bobcats saw their cushion vanish with 9:57 to go in regulation as the Blizzard pulled even on the power play when veteran forward Justin Moody tipped a wobbly shot to a wide-open Eric Brenk on the back door; Brenk whipped a quick shot past Bobcat goalie Bryan Nies to tie the game 1-1.
Shortly after Brenk’s equalizer, Cory Chapman appeared to put the Bobcats back in front, jamming a Dan Kovar rebound in through Brookings netminder Drew Weigman but the goal was waved off as head official Bryan Dyer claimed the whistle was blown before the puck was in the net.
As the Bobcats strove aggressively for a late go-ahead score, a failed clear in the defensive zone led to two wide-open shots for Brenk, the first of which Nies stopped before the Blizzard winger collected the miss and fired it in with just 32 seconds to go.
The Bobcats blitzed Weigman in the final 25 seconds, but the Blizzard keeper denied a point-blank chance by newcomer Chris Diver and the Bobcats could not get the rebound back on net before time expired, dealing the Bobcats their third straight one-goal loss at 4-3.
Nies made 27 saves but could not avoid his sixth loss of the season; Weigman stopped 33 shots en route to his sixth victory.
Brookings took a quick lead just 2:33 into the game when the newly acquired Brandon Anderson tapped in a close-range centering feed from Jeff Flicker for a 1-0 score.
Bob Kinne dialed up a response for the Bobcats, poking home the rebound from an Adam Knochenmus breakaway exactly 3:30 after Anderson’s opening strike to knot the game at one.
A mere 20 seconds later, Knochenmus posted the Cats to their first lead of the night at 2-1 when the Bobcat captain redirected a Levi Blom shot past the glove of Weigman.
Moody evened it up at 2-2 for the Blizzard with 11:51 remaining in the second, notching Brookings’ first power play goal of the night on a deflection of an Evan Hesse shot that beat Nies low to the stick side.
Just 49 seconds after Moody tied it up, Shane Omdahl pushed the Bobcats back ahead 3-2 by flipping a low-slot pass from Knochenmus past Weigman, giving the Cats a lead they’d enjoy until Brenk’s one-man rally began in the third.
The Bobcats’ time frame to bounce back is short, however, as they turn right around and travel to face the Central Division-leading Austin Bruins Saturday at 7:05 PM at Riverside Arena.
Saturday’s road trip finale 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 6:35.
Pro-rated season tickets for the 2012-13 season are now on sale—and going fast! Call the Bobcat Hockey office today at (701) 222-3300 to reserve your seats for another great season of Championship Entertainment.