Bobcats Blitz Minot to Wrap Home Schedule
BISMARCK, ND – Nine players registered a multi-point night as the Bismarck Bobcats popped off six straight goals and cruised to an 8-1 rout of the Minot Minotauros Friday at the VFW Sports Center to cap off their regular season home slate.
“Our offense played well, worked hard and got rewarded with some points here tonight,” credited Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, whose team set season highs in goals scored and margin of victory Friday. “We’re starting to figure out that getting to the front of the net is the key tonight was the proof: seven of the eight goals we got tonight were guys going to the net.”
Matt Pohlkamp got the attack started for the Bobcats with 2:01 to go in the first, racing behind the Minot defense and blowing a rising shot over the glove of goaltender Ryan Ruck to post the Cats to a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
Following an 0-for-2 start by the Bobcat power play, Chris Diver dialed up a power play strike for the Bobcats, lifting a shot through traffic and in past Ruck 4:52 into the second to double the advantage to 2-0.
Minot cut it to a 2-1 game 87 seconds later as Matt Audette tallied his fourth goal of the season, stuffing a wrap-around inside the short post on Bobcat netminder Aaron Nelson.
Former Minotauro forward Seth Blair answered right back for the Bobcats with 10:14 to go in the middle frame, sending a point-blank redirect in off a low shot from Diver on the power play for his first goal in black and gold and a 3-1 lead for the Cats.
A late second-period strike from Patrick Moore pushed the lead out to 4-1 as the veteran forward slammed home a Blair rebound at the 3:45 mark of the stanza for his team-best 20th tally of the season.
Blair continued the Cats’ assault on Ruck with 16:57 left in regulation, deflecting a Moore shot through Ruck’s legs on the power play while getting driven to the ice by Bismarck High product Paul Sorenson, stretching the edge to 5-1.
“I was really happy with Seth’s effort on the power play tonight,” explained Sedevie of the former Century High star, whose goals meant that every skater on the Bobcat roster had notched at least one goal in 2012-13, “and the way he was able to make the play while taking a couple of cheap shots was pretty impressive.”
Sorenson was issued a minor for roughing and a game ejection for his hit on Blair and subsequent protest to the referees. On the ensuing man advantage, Nate Repensky struck for his fourth power play goal in the month March to extend it to a 6-1 score with 16:24 to go.
Just 37 seconds after Repensky’s marker, Levi Blom notched the Cats’ seventh of the night as the rookie blueliner bombed a low shot through traffic between Ruck’s legs.
Joe Giordano put a cap on the Bobcats’ six-goal rally with 2:36 remaining in the game, hammering home a back-door feed from Bob Kinne for the final margin of 8-1.
Things got ugly in the closing minutes of the game as the two sides combined for 74 penalty minutes in the final 24 seconds of the third as Sedevie and Tauros head coach Marty Murray were both ejected while Minot forward Denis Dalidovich picked up three separate game misconducts as the result of a fracas in the Bobcat zone.
In all, Nelson and Bryan Nies combined for 11 saves, with Nelson taking down the win, his 24th; Nies needed just two stops after relieving Nelson in the third period. Ruck, playing in place of injured starter Tyler Parks, made 32 saves but suffered his 10th defeat of 2012-13.
Thanks to Friday’s triumph, the Bobcats finished up their home calendar with a mark of 18-4-6 at the VFW Sports Center, where they will open the 2013 Robertson Cup Playoffs on April 12 against the third-place Brookings Blizzard.
Playoff tickets will go on sale Monday at BismarckBobcats.com; fans can still get playoff priority by signing up for 2013-14 season tickets before Monday by calling the box office at 222-3300.
The Bobcats will finish up the regular season Saturday with a rematch against the Minotauros at Maysa Arena with a 7:35 PM start.
Saturday’s regular season finale 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 7:05 PM.
Bobcat fans can get 2013 Playoff Priority if they reserve 2013-14 season tickets today! Call the Bobcat Hockey office at (701) 222-3300 to reserve your seats for another year Championship Entertainment and get first crack at seats in the 2013 Robertson Cup Playoffs.