Bobcats Claim Epic Clash in Minot
MINOT, ND – In a game that featured 78 penalty minutes, nine goals, a coach ejection, a dramatic last-minute comeback and an eight-round shootout, the Bismarck Bobcats gutted out a 5-4 shootout win over the Minot Minotauros at Maysa Arena Saturday to earn a home-and-home split against their in-state rivals.
Harrison Aide, who grew up in nearby Bottineau, got the scoring started for the Bobcats Saturday, searing a rising wrist shot through traffic on the power play that beat Minot goalie Atte Tolvanen glove side with 2:24 left in the first to post the visitors to a 1-0 lead after one.
Though they trailed past the half-way mark of the game, Minot responded with 8:32 remaining in the middle frame on a point shot by Grand Forks native Casey Johnson that eluded Bobcat netminder Hunter Shepard in traffic to tie the game at one.
Penalty minutes piled up late in the second stanza after a fight between Bobcat winger Jared Spooner and Minot center Troy Degler that left Degler bloodied with 6:56 on the clock: 44 minutes of penalties were adjudicated, including a 5-on-3 that the Bobcats killed off and then the ejection of Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie for protesting a non-call during the 5-on-3.
On the ensuing penalty from Sedevie’s removal, the Tauros took their first lead of the night at 2-1 as Chase Springman cleaned up a Blake Lizotte rebound at the 4:39 mark of the period.
That margin was quickly erased in the third when Tanner Salsberry used screens set in front of Tolvanen to loft a 60-footer that dropped inside the right post to even the score at two a mere 97 seconds into the frame.
With 11:36 left in the third, Anthony Song pulled the Cats back ahead at 3-2, shrugging off a stick check in the high slot and snapping a low shot under Tolvanen’s glove and in with 11:36 to go in regulation.
Aide’s second power play tally of the night came with 6:15 remaining as the reigning Outstanding Senior Athlete for hockey in North Dakota backhanded home a Joe Tyran rebound to double the lead to two at 4-2.
Minot came roaring back in the closing minutes of the games, getting back-to-back goals from Johnny Walker and Springman in a 54 second span to tie the game 4-4 and force overtime.
To start bonus hockey, the Bobcat penalty kill wiped out 1:15 of a J.M. Piotrowski boarding minor that wrapped around from the third and settled in for the rest of a relatively quiet overtime period that ended without a deciding goal.
In the shootout that followed, Walker and Piotrowski were the only shooters to convert for their respective sides in the first five rounds. Neither team was able to score in the sixth or seventh rounds, but Bobcat rookie Logan Rivard tallied in the eighth round on a rising wrister over Tolvanen’s glove. John Snodgrass’ attempt to drag and tuck a backhander on Shepard was snuffed out on Minot’s final attempt, giving the Cats an emotional 5-4 win.
Shepard made 31 saves between regulation and overtime then turned in a 7-for-8 performance in the shootout to lock down his second win of the season. Tolvanen mustered 20 stops but fell to 9-7-2 in 2014-15.
Amid the 5-on-3 kill in the second, Bobcat blueliner Cole Souto left the game after blocking a slap shot from 6-foot-4 defender Rasmus Sorgardt with his face; he received stitches at Trinity Health in Minot and is expected to be available for the Cats’ next game.
That next game will come with a quick turnaround: the Bobcats head south on Wednesday to face the Brookings Blizzard at Larson Ice Center at 7:15pm.
Live coverage of Wednesday’s pre-Thanksgiving festivities will begin at 7:05pm locally on SuperTalk 1270, KLXX-AM, the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, and worldwide online at NAHL.FASTHockey.com, the official web television partner of the North American Hockey League.
Though the 2014-15 season is now under way, there is still time to order season tickets for the year; fans who want to lock in their seats for the entire campaign should call the Bobcat office at 222-3300 today!
Bobcats Claim Epic Clash in Minot