Last Minute Surge Sinks Bobcats

ONALASKA, WI – The roller-coaster stretch run in the Central Division took another turn Saturday as the Coulee Region Chill exploded for two goals in the last 45 seconds of regulation to drop the Bismarck Bobcats 5-3 at the Omni Center.

With the game tied 3-3 in the final minute of regulation, Chill leading scorer Connor Gaarder shook free from the Bobcat defense in transition and rocketed a one-time slap shot past Bobcat goalie Ryan Faragher for his second goal of the night and a 4-3 Coulee Region lead.

The Bobcats pulled Faragher for an extra attacker to try and even the score, but couldn’t break through the shot-blocking effort’s of the Chill’s defense and a long block resulted in an up-ice rush for Lucas Dillon, who fired a 90-foot shot into the vacated net for the final 5-3 score.

Coulee Region (27-15-5, 59 pts) leap-frogs the Bobcats (27-15-4, 58 pts) in the Central for second place while both teams now look up the standings at the first-place Owatonna Express (27-19-6, 60 pts)—4-1 winners at Aberdeen Saturday.

Prior to the Chill’s last-second outburst, Saturday’s game closely followed the script of Friday’s game, with Coulee Region taking an early lead on a transition goal from Dillon that was answered later in the first by a power play strike from Bobcat forward Frankie DeAugustine.

Much like the night before, the Bobcats pulled ahead 2-1 early in the second as Nikolaj Rosenthal ripped a snap shot through a screen set by Castan Sommer past Chill netminder Paul Moberg.

Coulee Region answered Rosenthal’s marker on the power play on a Berkley Scott tally—Scott finished a give-and-go with Micky Knox along the Bobcat goal line with 5:13 left in the second for another 2-2 tie at the end of two.

The Bobcats, again, took a quick lead in the third with their second power play strike of the night when Matt Gates buried a feed from Dan Zawacki through Moberg’s five-hole to make it 3-2 Bobcats 3:38 into the final frame.

Gaarder answered Gates’ score with his first of the night just 1:24 later, scorching a rising slap shot through traffic that beat Faragher high glove, tying the contest 3-3 and setting the stage for the Chill’s last-second run.

Seven players from Saturday’s game and both head coaches will now make the quick turnaround to the 2011 Ann Arbor Top Prospects Tournament Sunday as Gates, Gaarder, Dillon, Bobcats forwards Emerson Auvenshine and Sam Dougherty, Chill defenseman Eric Drapluk and forward Zac Frischmon will play for Team Central at the three-day league All-Star summit. Bobcats head coach Layne Sedevie will serve as the Central’s head coach while Coulee Region bench boss Garret Strot will be the division’s assistant coach.

Team Central’s Top Prospects run starts Sunday at 7:30 at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube, the home of Team USA’s National Team Development Program, as they take on Team West. Follow updates on Team Central’s progress at

The Central Division’s representatives have already done well for themselves in All-Star play, winning the 2010 Top Prospects Tournament in Walpole, Mass., under the name Team Weight.

The Bobcats return to action Friday at 7:15 PM as they welcome the Chill to the VFW Sports Center for the first tilt of a two-game series that will close out the season series between the two divisional foes.

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!