ABERDEEN, S.D.–The Bismarck Bobcats loaded up the bus with only 19 players on Friday afternoon. They traveled to Aberdeen and still defeated the Wings 6-1 at the Odde Ice Center on Friday night.
Bismarck’s line chart only showed 11 forwards, which at points in the game was reduced to just nine. The team still scored three goals in the first and third periods to gut out a road victory.
“It is huge, any way you look at it,” head coach Layne Sedevie said. “Even if you come here and only get two points, it is still a good weekend with how beat-up we are. I thought they dug deep tonight.”
After a first period in which the Bobcats scored three goals on only eight shots, the Wings came out storming in the second. Despite outshooting the Cats 19-3, many of those chances on a five-minute power play, Aberdeen only put one behind Linards Lipskis.
“I think the only good thing about the second period was our penalty kill,” Sedevie said. “I thought the third was much better. To me, that is what I expect out of a home, to have pushback … We weathered the storm there, but I thought we got back to moving the puck and moving our feet again in the third like we did in the first.”
Patrick Johnson scored two goals, his fourth career multi-goal game. Vertti Jantunen, Brandon Reller, Evan Hunter, and Sean Kenny scored as well. Kenny, a full-time member of the NA3HL’s Alexandria Blizzard, netted his first career NAHL goal in his first career game.
“I thought Sean did a really good job for us tonight,” Sedevie said. “I know he scored a goal, but he worked hard and played the game I like my guys to play. Thanks to Jeff Crouse, who did us a huge favor.”
With the victory, the Bobcats clinch the five-game series win with seven out of a possible eight points thus far. The final game of the two-week jaunt against the Wings is Saturday at 7:15 p.m. from the Odde Ice Center.
“We just have to stick with it,” Sedevie said. “(The team) has been good (recently). We are playing the game the right way, and we are executing, too.”