Slow Start Dooms Bobcats
MINOT, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats finished with a weekend split at Maysa Arena after a disastrous first period saw the Cats fall behind 4-0 and eventually succumb to the Minot Minotauros by a 5-1 final Saturday.
Minot started hot and took a 1-0 lead before most fans had even reached their seats as Mason Morelli snatched a defensive zone turnover and zipped a low liner past Bobcat goalie Aaron Nelson just 15 seconds into the game.
Jake Clifford compounded the visitors troubles with 12:39 to go in the opening frame, ripping a low shot through traffic that beat Nelson glove side to extend the Tauros lead to 2-0.
That margin grew to 3-0 3:06 later as Nelson came out to challenge a transition shot from Scott Dornbrock on a Minot power play but found himself out of position after the initial save, leaving a wide open net which Minotauro forward Cameron Rowat found with a looping backhander, chasing Nelson from the Bobcat net for the remainder of the first.
A neutral zone turnover burned the Bobcats in the final minute of the opening frame as Minot captain Tim Donohue rushed in on a 2-on-1 and angled a low shot off replacement goaltender Bryan Nies and in with a mere two seconds left on the clock to boost the home side to a 4-0 advantage after one.
In the second, Nelson returned to the net and settled down, stopping all four shots he saw in the period.
It appeared that the Bobcats got on the board five minutes into the middle frame as Shane Omdahl fired a shot through the legs of Minot netminder Tyler Parks and in, but the referees waved off the goal and ruled the net had been dislodged.
Adam Knochenmus would eventually break Parks’ spell with 12:21 to go in the game, redirecting a Sam Wolfe entry feed at point-blank range over the 6’6” goalie’s blocker and under the cross bar to cut the Tauros’ lead to 4-1, but the Bobcats would draw no closer.
Third-year center Jadin Martin gave the game its final score of 5-1 with a power play strike with 7:37 remaining, slamming in a back door pass from Steven Sherman on a 5-on-3 man advantage.
Nelson, who re-entered the game to open the second period, suffered his fourth loss of the season with 16 saves; Nies did not factor into the decision, making four saves in an abbreviated relief appearance. Parks needed only 19 stops to pick up his 11th win of 2012-13.
The Bobcats are now off for six days before hitting the road for their last game before Christmas—and their last game for the first half of the season: a 7:00 PM road duel with the Coulee Region Chill on Saturday, December 22, at the Omni Center in Onalaska, Wisc.
Saturday’s first-half finale will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide on the official internet television partner of the NAHL, FASTHockey, at http://nahl.fasthockey.com. Pregame coverage gets under way at 7:30 PM.
Pro-rated season tickets for the 2012-13 season are now on sale—and going fast! Call the Bobcat Hockey office today at (701) 222-3300 to reserve your seats for another great season of Championship Entertainment.