BISMARCK, ND–A penalty-ridden third period was highlighted by three Bobcat goals, two on the power play, as the Bobcats blew by the Brookings Blizzard 3-1 at the VFW Sports Center in Bismarck Saturday night.
Nate Repensky (Duluth, MN) scored on the man-advantage at 3:12 of the third period, a goal that was an eventual game winner for the Bobcats after Stanislav Dzakhov (Moscow, Russia) scored a top-shelf tally just 20 seconds into the frame to break a scoreless tie.
The win pulled the Bobcats (8-3-0) to 16 points in the NAHL Central Division , two points behind first-place Austin, who lost to Aberdeen Saturday night. The Blizzard (1-8-3), who earned their first win of the season Friday night over Bismarck in Brookings, remain at five points in the standings.
Repensky entered the night on the NAHL scoring leaderboard with 12 points, but without a single goal. His first of the year would be from just inside the Blizzard blue line, a shot that floated through traffic that caused Brookings goalie Drew Weigman to lose the puck.
After Nick DeCenzo knocked in a power-play score at 8:45 of the third to cut the lead to one, Matt Anders (Lafayette, CO) capped the scoring at 11:58, rebuilding the two-goal margin. The end of the game was mired by penalties, as the teams that had met three times in nine days showed some dislike.
"They had been trying to get in our faces for three games. They want us in the box," said Bobcat head coach Layne Sedevie of the finish. "We have to remain disciplined."
A Bobcat highlight was the emergence of a strong fourth line, with Brendan Harris (Las Vegas, NV), a Bobcat regular of late, teaming with Cullen Willox (Eagen, MN) and Nick Wallace (Burbank, CA) to play some physical minutes throughout the night.
"Those are three rookings coming together, and it was something that needed to happen. We need a fourth line for some depth at some point, and it was nice to see tonight," commented Sedevie.
The Bobcats host Minot Friday night in the season’s first meeting of the Highway 83 rivals, just 105 miles apart. Faceoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m at the VFW Sports Center.