Bobcats Finish 2-1-1 on West Coast
WENATCHEE, WA – The Bismarck Bobcats fell victim to a controversial late penalty call and a rally by the Wenatchee Wild to drop their second straight road contest, falling 3-2 in overtime Saturday at the Town Toyota Center.
Leading 2-1 in the final three minutes of regulation, the Bobcats found themselves hemmed in on a furious Wenatchee rush in front of netminder Aaron Nelson. Nelson covered the puck but the referees could not locate it, causing a delayed whistle and repeated whacks in on the Bobcat netminder in advance of the stoppage, which came with 2:30 left in the final frame.
Frustrated by the contact, Nelson left his crease to confront a Wild forward and was summarily tackled by Wenatchee’s Jacob Barber, who ripped Nelson’s helmet off in the process. After the ensuing pileup, Nelson was assessed a roughing minor while Barber was not sent to the box.
With a power play to work with, Wenatchee was able to even the score at 2-2 as Josh Hartley slammed home a back door feed from captain Noah Nelson with 1:58 left in the third, forcing overtime.
“It’s very frustrating because, to me, [the referee] made the wrong call,” submitted Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie. “I don’t know how you don’t take them both, there. You hate to see such a great game be decided by someone who isn’t a player.
“Our guys deserved better than that.”
A broken play sealed the visitors’ fate just 35 seconds into bonus hockey as Wild attacker Brian Williams lost the puck on the rush while entering the Bobcat zone but it rolled straight to veteran blueliner Dylan Abood, who poked it over Nelson to end the contest at 3-2.
It was the Wild’s only lead of the game, but it was also the final score.
The Bobcats were the team that held the pace of play for the large majority of the night, hitting the ground running in the first period as Shane Omdahl whipped home a cross-ice pass on the power play from Levi Blom through the legs of Wild goalie Robbie Nichols to post the Cats to a 1-0 lead with 7:31 to go in the opening stanza.
Wenatchee evened the score at one two seconds shy of a minute into the second as top-scorer Jono Davis threaded a rising wrister past Nelson in traffic.
Mike Dockry got the counter-punch for the Bobcats with 10:05 to go in the middle frame, grabbing the puck off a Bob Kinne steal at point-blank range on Nichols and popping it through his five hole for a 2-1 Bobcat lead that would stand until just under two minutes to go in regulation.
Nichols made 26 saves to secure his 10th win of 2012-13. For the second night in a row, Nelson took the hard luck loss, slipping to 3-1-1 despite 27 stops.
“I’m proud of the way our guys worked and battled on this trip,” credited Sedevie, whose team finished 2-1-1 on the west coast swing. “We got five points and, really, deserved eight with the way we played this weekend. If we play this hard when we get into the division schedule, this team can go a long way.”
The division schedule resumes for the Bobcats Friday at Larson Ice Center as the three-week, four-state road trip continues with the Cats’ first-ever regular season to Brookings to take on the second place Blizzard with a 7:00 PM puck drop.
Friday’s road contest 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 6:30.
Season tickets for the 2012-13 season are now on sale—and going fast! Call the Bobcat Hockey office today at (701) 222-3300 to reserve your seats for another great season of Championship Entertainment.