Bobcats Surge Past Bulls
BLAINE, MN – The Bismarck Bobcats rattled off three unanswered goals and improved their record on the young season to 1-1-0 with a 3-1 win over the defending Robertson Cup Champion Amarillo Bulls Thursday at Schwan Super Rink on Day Two of the Easton NAHL Showcase.
Following a scoreless first period that saw Bobcat goalie Aaron Nelson and Amarillo netminder Paul Berrafato combine for 16 saves, Amarillo pulled ahead 1-0 with 10:35 to go in the second on the power play when a Bobcat defender inadvertently blocked a centering pass from Omar Mullan over Nelson’s shoulder.
Matt Anders would make sure that the middle frame would end in a 1-1 tie, however, as the veteran forward put back a Tyler Dunagan rebound with 3:39 to go in the second.
“Matt and Tyler’s line with Evan Giesler has been working really hard on the ice all week, so it was nice to see them rewarded for their effort with such a big goal,” assessed Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, whose squad picked up their first ever win against the Bulls in four lifetime meetings.
Filip Starzynski gave the Cats their first lead of the young season at 2-1 3:20 into the third, deflecting a point shot from Chris Diver between Berrafato’s legs and in.
The Cats continued to apply pressure in the Amarillo zone for most of the remaining time in regulation, allowing just three shots on Nelson over the final 16-plus minutes in the third.
Dan Kovar would put the finishing touches on the Bobcats’ first win of the season, firing a length-of-the-ice shot into an empty net with eight seconds left in the contest for the final margin of 3-1.
“The last two times we’ve seen Amarillo, we ended up taking losses at the Robertson Cup that, in one way or another, ended our season,” informed Kovar, a fourth-year Bobcat veteran and 2013-14 assistant captain, “so it was definitely a bit of a monkey off our back to be able to beat them in a game that a lot of people have been looking forward to for months.”
Nelson stood tall in net for the Cats, denying 26 of 27 shots by the Bulls to improve to 1-1-0 while Berrafato suffered his first loss of the campaign on 24 saves.
Showcase action continues Friday for the Bobcats with a 1:45 PM contest against the North Division’s Janesville Jets.
Friday’s interdivision clash will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide on the internet television partner of the North American Hockey League, NAHL.FASTHockey.com. Pregame coverage will get under way at 1:15 PM.
Season tickets for the 2013-14 season are now on sale—and going fast! Reserve your seats for the new season, including the brand new Dasher Bar, by calling the Bobcat Hockey office at 222-3300.