Matt Bury

Jan 22, 2017

Barry’s OT Winner Lifts Bobcats to Sweep

BISMARCK, ND – Locked in a tight battle that needed an extra frame to determine a winner, the Bismarck Bobcats got a 3-on-3 game-winning goal from Matt Barry to top the Brookings Blizzard 2-1 Saturday, completing a two-game weekend sweep at the VFW Sports Center.

Scoreless through one, the Bobcats struck first 3:43 into the second when rookie defender Tanner Vescio collected a cross-ice pass from Tobias Fladeby and ripped a low slapshot through traffic that beat Brookings netminder Josh Boyko five-hole to post the home side to a hard-earned 1-0 lead.

Less than four minutes later the Blizzard pulled even on the power play: Brett Callahan found top-scoring center Paul Cotter wide open on the back door for a one-time snap shot that found the net before Bobcat goalie Severi Isokangas could recover to the right post for a 1-1 tie with 12:37 left in the middle frame.

Despite multiple power plays in the second half of the contest, neither team was able to break the deadlock in the see-saw divisional tilt, eventually forcing overtime; Barry had the best chances for either side, hitting the crossbar on the power play with 11:59 left and then seeing a low shot miss the net by inches at the 6:52 mark.

On the second shift of the bonus stanza, Barry won a defensive zone faceoff and used an outlet from Jiei Halliday to race into the Brookings zone. Darting through the defense, Barry worked his way into the mid slot and hurried a low snap shot that beat Boyko five-hole to end the game at 2-1 in favor of the Bobcats.

“I’d been close on shooting for the corners all night but I decided to break tendencies and go for the fast shot instead of trying to pick the corner,” recalled Barry, who ended a person nine-game goalless streak with the winner. “I think it caught [Boyko] off-guard and he didn’t have the time to make the reaction from that distance.”

Isokangas turned in a 28-save night to secure his third straight win in net for the Bobcats. Boyko made 31 stops but slipped to 15-9-4 with the overtime setback.

Now the Bobcats turn their attention to a two-game home-and-home series with the Aberdeen Wings, starting Friday at Odde Ice Center before returning to the capital on Saturday.

Tickets are now on sale for Saturday’s home leg of the weekend: fans can buy and print tickets online 24 hours a day at or charge by phone at 222-3300.

Friday’s rivalry road clash will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270 AM, and worldwide on–the web television partner of the North American Hockey League–with pregame coverage starting at 6:45pm.

Pro-rated season tickets are now on sale for the Bobcats’ landmark platinum anniversary campaign fans can get more information or reserve their seats for all of Season Twenty now by calling 222-3300.