BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats fell into an early hole and could never recover, dropping their final meeting of the season with the Owatonna Express by a 4-2 score Saturday at the VFW Sports Center.
The loss was the first regulation defeat the Bobcats have suffered at home since a 5-2 loss at the hands of the Alaska Avalanche on September 26, 2009.
Cory Thorson opened the scoring 10:45 into the first period after the rebound from a Tim Smith power play shot eluded Bobcat goalie Ryan Faragher, giving Thorson a window to tip it in for a 1-0 Express lead.
Owatonna pushed their lead out to two goals with 12:38 left in the second when Chris Darnell found Schyler Adams wide open in front of the Bobcats net; Adams wristed a low liner past Faragher to finish the play and make it 2-0.
33 seconds later the Bobcats answered as Jason Fabian was able to redirect a Sam Rendle shot past Owatonna keeper Matt Hemingway to slice the lead to 2-1 Express.
The Bobcats momentum from Fabian’s 24th tally of the year faded, however, when Express forward Jake Youso rifled a power play one-timer in transition from Zach Vierling past a sprawling Faragher to restore Owatonna’s two-goal lead at 3-1.
Owatonna finished the night an impressive 2-for-3 with the man advantage Saturday.
Tim Serratore briefly trimmed the lead back to one score 5:05 into the third, banging home a Tyler Klein rebound on the power play to make it 3-2 Owatonna.
Marian Fiala finished off the Bobcats, tacking on all the insurance the Express would need with 11:47 left with a 40-foot rolling shot that beat Faragher in transition.
Hemingway closed strong for the Express, making 13 of his 34 saves in the third period—including four big stops after the ‘Cats pulled Faragher with 2:48 left—to secure his 10th win of 2009-10.
Faragher made 28 saves but slipped to 21-6-7 on the year for Bismarck.
In their 12-game season series, the Bobcats and Express each side claimed six wins—but by virtue of going 6-2-4 to Owatonna’s 6-5-1, the ‘Cats claimed the season series 16 points to 13.
Saturday’s loss also cost the Bobcats their shot at their second consecutive 40-win season; at best, the ‘Cats can only finish with 39 victories now.
During the first intermission, Bobcat players Aaron Quick and Devin Schmitt, along with team owner Thom Brigl and assistant coach Layne Sedevie all had their heads shaved to benefit the St. Baldrick’s Day foundation, in conjunction with Basin Electric, helping to raise money for diagnosing, researching and curing childhood cancer.
Ryan Jacobson, Gavin Hartzog, Ilya Kravtchouk, George Malliaras and Emerson Auvenshine will all follow Quick and Schmitt’s leads on Wednesday at Basin Electric during the national St. Baldrick’s event. See BismarckBobcats.com for more information on how to donate!
The Bobcats will wrap up their regular season away schedule next Saturday when they open a two-game series in Mason City, Iowa, against the North Iowa Outlaws with the first of two 7:30 PM contests against their archrivals at North Iowa Ice Arena.
Saturday’s 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 pro-rated 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.