Road Rues

AUSTIN, MN – For only the second time all year, the Bismarck Bobcats have dropped consecutive games, falling 5-3 Friday night to the Austin Bruins thanks to a two-period, four-goal push by the Bruins at Riverside Arena.

With the Bobcats leading 2-1 after one, Austin quickly tied the game 2-2 just 20 seconds into the second as John Kirby slammed home a Charlie Adams rebound to bring the crowd of 1,200 to its feet.

A mere 1:45 later, Dan Kovar was able to inch the Cats back in front, putting back his own second-chance goal after collecting a Patrick Moore rebound for a 3-2 lead for the visitors.

From there, however, Austin caught fire as Jeremy Finger tallied his second goal of the night by popping in a pass on a 2-on-1 from Adams to even the score with 6:06 left in the period.

A.J. Reid gave the Bruins their first lead of the night 1:50 later, redirecting a pass from Brandon Wahlin over Bobcat netminder Tommy Burke for a 4-3 score in favor of Austin heading into the second intermission.

The Bobcats controlled the early pace in the third, but couldn’t stay out of penalty trouble. While the Cats were able to kill off an early interference call on Donald Olivieri, they could not overcome a 5-on-3 penalty kill issued after Bryce Schmitt was whistled for slashing and during the ensuing stoppage head coach Layne Sedevie was served with a two-minute bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct.

For the first 1:18 of the full two-minute 5-on-3, Burke and the Bobcat penalty kill held the Bruins at bay but John Simonson delivered a big insurance tally for the Bruins with a point-blank shot over Burke’s glove to make it 5-3 for Austin with 7:25 left in regulation.

Frank DeAugustine appeared to put the Bobcats ahead just moments later, firing a centering feed from Adam Knochenmus in past Bruins goalie Tyler Bruggeman before the net came off, but the officials ruled the net came off first and disallowed the would-be tally.

After DeAugustine’s effort was washed out, the Bobcats could not get any closer, stymied by an aggressive Austin forecheck and strong work from Bruggeman’s blocker in the closing five minutes.

Bruggeman made 27 saves and earned his 25th win of 2011-12. Burke made 26 saves but slipped to 30-9-1 on the year.

Dan Zawacki put the Bobcats ahead early on back-to-back goals—one on the power play and one even strength—but a late goal by Finger drew the Bruins within one goal after the first, giving them the room they needed to make their 4-1 charge to capture the game.

Friday marks the first time all year the Bobcats have led during an intermission and not gone on to win. They were previously 24-0-0 when leading after one and 31-0-0 when leading after two.

The Bobcats will play their final away game of the 2011-12 regular season Saturday when they face off for a 7:05 PM rematch against the Bruins.

Saturday’s road 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 Pregame coverage gets under way at 6:30. Fans can watch Friday’s game—and all away contests—live at Reza’s Pitch at Third and Front in Bismarck, the official away game home of Bobcat Hockey.

Season tickets are still available for the second half of the 2011-12 season—and going fast! Call the Bobcat Hockey office at (701) 222-3300 or email for more information on reserving a pro-rated package for the rest of the season!