Hot Start Powers Bobcats Romp

Dec 2, 2010

BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats rode a three-goal first period to a dominating 5-1 win at the VFW Sports Center over the visiting Aberdeen Wings Friday night.

Red-hot Frank DeAugustine started an early Bobcats blitz on the power play, just 2:17 into the game, getting open on the right post of Aberdeen goalie Hunter Leisner’s net and shaking Leisner with a headfake and sliding in a low shot for a 1-0 lead for the home side.

Sam Dougherty followed for the Cats just 1:34 later, taking a back-door feed an slamming home a powerful wrist shot past a sprawling Leisner to boost the edge to 2-0.

DeAugustine capped the opening rally at the 11:22 mark of the opening frame, roofing a cross-ice feed from Matt Gates to extend the advantage to 3-0 Cats.

After DeAugustine’s second strike, Leisner was lifted for backup Jordan Lehr. Leisner was credited with just two saves before leaving the game.

It was by far the best start the Bobcats have had so far against the Wings.

“We’ve definitely struggled early against Aberdeen, so we all wanted to get the jump on them fast,” said DeAugustine, who also scored twice in Thursday’s exhibition contest in Minot against Aberdeen. “We caught them a little flat-footed and were able to press our advantage and take control quickly.”

The Bobcats killed penalties for a large chunk of the second period, negating five straight Aberdeen power plays toward the end of a scoreless middle frame.

Bismarck opened the third period with another quick burst of offense when Bryce Schmitt lined a 30-foot transition shot off Lehr’s blocker and into the net just 48 seconds into the final frame to push the lead out to 4-0.

Tom Rizzardo followed 29 seconds later, getting a lucky power play bounce from a 45-foot slap shot off Aberdeen defender Mitch Sand and into the net for a 5-0 edge.

On the night, the Bobcats special teams held a large advantage, going 2-for-4 on the power play and 8-for-8 on the penalty kill.

“Our special teams had been struggling so it was important for us to have a strong night on the ‘PK’ and ‘PP,’” noted Rizzardo, who now has three goals against the Wings this year. “You can’t beat a team that works hard like Aberdeen without a good power play, so getting two goals like that went a long way [Friday].”

Aberdeen spoiled Bobcat goalie Ryan Faragher’s shutout with just 2:20 left in regulation as Tyler Underhill found space inside the Bobcat defense and zipped a rising shot over Faragher’s glove for the 5-1 final.

Faragher was credited with 12 saves on the way to his 14th win of 2010-11; Lehr stopped 17 shots but did not factor into the decision.

The Bobcats have the rest of the weekend off to relax while Faragher, Charlie Mosey and Dan Zawacki all travel to Walpole, Mass., on Saturday to represent the Central Division on Team [Doug] Weight at the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, which runs Sunday through Tuesday.

Regular season action resumes next Friday when the Bobcats open a two-game home series against the Austin Bruins at 7:15 PM. It will be Austin’s first trip in franchise history to the VFW Sports Center, where the Cats have tallied five straight wins.

Friday\’s contest will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide at Pre-game coverage will begin at 6:45 PM CT.

Season tickets are now on sale for the 2010-11 season! Call the Bobcat Hockey office at (701) 222-3300 or email for more information on reserving your seats for the entire season as the Bobcats look to defend the Robertson Cup!