OWATONNA, MN – The Bismarck Bobcats offense rode a three-goal second period to a 4-1 win over the Owatonna Express, getting four points each from Sean McKenzie and Jason Fabian at the Four Seasons Center on Friday.
“It felt great to get out there and play like that,” said McKenzie, “we’ve got a great combo out there with [Nick] Jensen and Fabian and the line really kicked it up a notch [Friday] when we really needed a win.”
After a scoreless first period, McKenzie—who came to the Bobcats in a trade with the Wichita Falls Wildcats in early October—tallied his first goal in black and gold with 13:15 left in the second, redirecting home a Jensen centering feed.
The goal gave the ‘Cats their first lead over the Express in four games this season.
McKenzie did not wait another six games for his second Bobcat score, though, blasting a one-time power play shot over the glove of Express netminder Mike Shibrowski just 1:44 later for a 2-0 Bismarck edge.
Fabian capped the second-period outburst, powering a one-time shot past Shibrowski to make it 3-0 with 6:48 to go in the middle frame.
Owatonna forced their way back into the game with a 5-on-3 power play goal when Express defenseman Jake Suter wristed a shot that deflected off a Bobcat defender and over Bismarck goalie Ryan Massa to trim the Bobcat lead to 3-1 just 4:34 into the third.
The Bobcats pulled away late though, getting big saves from Massa and a second goal from Fabian with 2:16 left in regulation to secure the two-game split with the Express.
Massa, playing in his first game since sustaining a neck injury in October, stopped 21 Owatonna shots to improve to 3-4-1 on the season.
“My defense made it an easy game to come back to, for sure,” said Massa, “they gave me a great look at almost every shot and whenever I gave a rebound, they got it right out of there.
“And having the offense playing so well out there definitely helped.”
For the Express, Shibrowski made 22 saves but suffered just his second regulation loss of the year, falling to 10-2-1 in 2009-10.
The Bobcats will wrap up their three-games-in-three-nights road trip Sunday with a 5:30 start at the Albert Lea Arena against the Albert Lea Thunder. The Bobcats are 1-0-1 against the last-place Thunder so far this season.
The game will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide at BismarckBobcats.com via B2 Networks. The pre-game show starts at 5:00 PM.
You won\’t want to miss any of the games this season, so order your Season Tickets, Family Packs and Group Nights today by calling the Bobcat Hockey Office at 701-222-3300 or by e-mailing the office for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.