Bobcats Beset by Bad Bounces
BLAINE, MN – Struck by a bout of misfortune throughout the night, the Bismarck Bobcats could not battle out of an early two-score hole—falling 3-1 to the Topeka Roadrunners Thursday at the Schwan Super Rink.
The Cats fell behind with 9:19 left in the opening frame while on the power play, as Topeka forward Matt Jennings appeared to punch a puck with his fist out of midair and into the net. Though the Bobcat bench argued the call vehemently, the score was allowed to stand and it was 1-0 for the ‘Runners.
Topeka doubled their lead to 2-0 with another special teams goal when blueliner Ryan O’Connor blazed a low slap shot through traffic on the power play with 2:31 to go in the first.
After killing off a penalty to open the second, the Bobcats seized momentum and jumped back into the game when rookie Nick Alexander stuffed his own rebound through the legs of Topeka netminder Tyler Johnson 5:01 into the frame to cut the lead to 2-1.
Unfortunately for the Bobcats, ensuing second-period golden opportunities could not find the back of the cage: Willie Brown had a wide-open tap-in blocked out of nowhere by J.B. Baker, Brown had a back-door pass from Travis Wood hop off his stick and Solag Bakich misfired a rebound with Johnson out of position.
In the third, Brown had another chance to equalize—this time with time and space off an Aaron Herdt faceoff win in the offensive zone and Johnson down in the butterfly, but Brown sailed the opportunity over the crossbar and the Bobcats would draw no closer.
Baker put the finishing touches on the game for Topeka at 3-2 with 26 seconds to go, rolling a 110-foot shot into an empty net as the Cats pulled goalie Hunter Shepard in an effort to pull even.
Shepard did his level best to keep the Bobcats in the game, turning heads with several highlight-reel save sequences, but his 25 stops were not enough to avoid falling to 2-2-0. Johnson improved to 2-1-0 on 23 saves.
Friday will see the Cats try and snap their two-game skid when they face the South Division’s Odessa Jackalopes—3-2 victors over Janesville Thursday—with another prime-time start at 7:30 at the Schwan Super Rink.
The first-ever meeting of the Cats and Jacks will be broadcast live on locally SuperTalk 1270 AM, the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, and worldwide online at NAHL.FASTHockey.com—the official web television partner of the North American Hockey League—with pregame coverage starting at 7:00pm.
Season tickets are now on sale for the 2015-16 campaign; if you want to beat the rush of 40,000 fans for this season, now is the time! Call 222-3300 today to reserve your seats.
BOBCAT TV HIGHLIGHTS: