OWATONNA, MN – The Bismarck Bobcats opened their division schedule for the 2009-10 season with a tough-luck loss, falling 2-0 on the road to the first-place Owatonna Express Friday.
The low-scoring contest saw a scoreless first period dominated by goaltending and shot-blocking, as the sides combined for only 15 total shots in the opening frame (6 by the Bobcats).
Owatonna opened the scoring just 1:19 into the second, however, when Express defenseman Marian Fiala picked up a loose puck on a broken play in the Bobcat end and one-timed a slap shot by Bismarck netminder Ryan Massa for a 1-0 lead.
It appeared that the Bobcats had pulled even with eight minutes left in the middle frame when Bobcat newcomer Sean McKenzie, acquired earlier this week from the Wichita Falls Wildcats, fired a Ryan Jacobson rebound into the Express net. Unfortunately for the ‘Cats, head referee Johnathan Morrison ruled that the Owatonna net had come dislodged before McKenzie could even the score.
After the no-goal, the teams traded chances in the second period but neither could break through before intermission.
The score remained 1-0 in favor of Owatonna through the first 18 minutes of the third before an odd-man rush saw Express forward Dan Cecka sweep his own rebound around Massa for the final 2-0 margin.
Massa finished with 19 saves but saw his record slip to 1-4-1 on the season.
For Owatonna, goalie Mike Shibrowski stopped all 24 Bobcat shots to improve to 6-0-1.
The Bobcats’ opening weekend in Central Division play continues Saturday with a 7:30 PM contest against the North Iowa Outlaws at the North Iowa Arena in Mason City, IA.
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 7:00 PM.
You won\’t want to miss any of the games this season, so order your Season Tickets, Family Packs and Group Night’s 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.