Bobcat Rally Topples Bruins
BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats erased a two-goal third period deficit and nipped the Austin Bruins 4-3 in a shootout Friday at the VFW Sports Center.
Friday’s win by the Bobcats snapped the Bruins’ five-game win streak and boosted the Cats 5-6-0 on the season.
Trailing 3-1 over half way through the third period, the Bobcats pulled within one goal on a tally by Shane Omdahl that elicited an extended conversation from head official Kollin Kleinendorst and his linesmen.
On the rush, Patrick Moore and an Austin defender fell into Bruins goalie Nick Lehr as the three toppled into the net along with the puck as it glanced off Omdahl. Kleinendorst initially waved off the goal but after a conference with the linesmen reversed his call, giving Omdahl his second goal of the game and cutting the Austin edge to 3-2.
“I was actually upset that it had been waved off in the first place,” expressed Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, “our guys were working too hard to not get a bounce like that. But you have to give credit to the referees for getting together and made sure they got the call right.”
The Bobcats pulled even with 2:50 remaining in regulation on Mike Dockry’s first goal of the season, as Dockry collected a Rory Vesel rebound and chipped it over Lehr to tie the game 3-3 and force overtime
An even overtime period tipped in Austin’s favor with 1:22 left in the frame as the Bobcats were whistled for too many men on the ice. The Bruins nearly converted the power play chance with three seconds left in OT, as Brandon Wahlin had a wide-open one-timer that was denied on a blocker save by Bobcat netminder Aaron Nelson, forcing a decisive shootout.
Nelson denied the first two Austin shooters before Joe Giordano posted the Bobcats to a 1-0 lead in the second round with a precision touch through Lehr’s legs. Austin’s very next shooter, A.J. Reid, netted a five-hole goal of his own to tie the shootout at one through three rounds. The Bobcats fourth shooter, Patrick Moore, beat Lehr on a deke to his right while Nelson stopped the Bruins’ final two shooters to seal the Cats’ come-from-behind win at 4-3.
It was the Bruins, however, who got ahead 2-0 through 27 minutes of hockey on back-to-back power play goals from John Simonson and Cody Dixon.
Omdahl’s first of the night came with 9:31 to go as the second-year forward created a turnover deep in the Bruins’ zone, intercepting an outlet pass 10 feet away from the net and loading a quick wrister that beat Lehr to the glove side to cut the Cats’ deficit in half.
Third-year Bruin Nolan Kirley boosted the visitors back to a two-goal lead, banging home a back door feed from Nate Mondry to make it 3-1 for Austin through two periods before the Bobcats ignited their late push.
Nelson, making his first start since returning to the Bobcats lineup, stopped 42 shots on the way to his first year of the season.
Lehr took the hard-luck loss, posting 41 saves but slipping to 5-2-1 on the season.
The Bobcats and Bruins will play the rubber match of their de-facto three-game series Saturday with a 7:15 PM puck drop.
Saturday’s rematch 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 a half hour before each contest.
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.