BISMARCK, ND – A sell-out crowd witnessed the Bismarck Bobcats pick up a pair of power play tallies and a sterling performance in net from Ryan Faragher to earn their sixth straight win by a margin of 2-1 over the Alexandria Blizzard Thursday at the VFW Sports Center.
The Bobcats’ extra-man unit struck on its first opportunity of the night 8:26 into the game when Sean McKenzie tipped a Sam Randle shot over the blocker of Blizzard netminder Robert Tadazak to give the ‘Cats an early 1-0 edge.
“That tip play is something we worked on a lot after practice this morning,” said McKenzie, who has 11 points in his last six games, “with guys standing out there with no goalie, just tipping shots on net. That extra practice really paid off [Thursday].”
The power play crew was not finished, though, as Bobcat forward Nick Jensen rocketed a deflected Ryan Jacobson pass through traffic and past Tadazak for a 2-0 lead going into the first intermission.
“The biggest improvement on the power play lately has been the way we’re moving the puck,” suggested Jensen after scoring his third goal in two games, “guys are being patient and waiting for the right passing and shooting lanes and that’s turning into a bunch of goals.”
On the night, the Bobcat power play went 2-for-6 and has been responsible for five of the team’s last nine goals dating back to the Bobcats’ 2-1 win at Alexandria on Nov. 21.
Not to be outdone, the Blizzard’s power play unit also struck during their first appearance as Tommy Westmark deflected a Michael Pieper shot over Ryan Faragher’s glove and in to cut the lead to 2-1.
Little did the Thanksgiving Day crowd at the VFW Sports Center know that would be the last goal scored by either side as both defenses ratcheted up the intensity for the remaining 38-plus minutes.
Faragher finished the game with 21 saves and picked up his seventh win of 2009-10 in net for the Bobcats.
Tadazak stopped 20 shots for the Blizzard but slipped to 2-3-1 on the year.
Thursday’s game was the first appearance for Gavin Hartzog, Tom McCarthy and Dan Weissenhofer—the trio of players acquired by the Bobcats in two separate transactions Wednesday.
McCarthy was the only one of the three to find his way onto the scoresheet after getting whistled for an interference penalty with 1:04 left in regulation.
After the game, the Bobcats announced that goalie Ryan Massa would be the “future considerations” they would send to the Fargo Force of the USHL in exchange for McCarthy and Hartzog.
Massa finishes his run with the ‘Cats with a 6-4-1 record and a 2.56 GAA.
The Bobcats continue their latest three-games-in-three-nights weekend on Friday with a return trip to Alexandria, where they are 3-0-0 on the year. Friday’s rematch with the Blizzard will begin at 7:00 PM.
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 6:30 PM.
You won\’t want to miss any of the games this season, so order your 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.