Big Second Period Carries Bobcats over Blizzard
BROOKINGS, SD – The Bismarck Bobcats exploded for three goals in just over four minutes late in the second period Saturday en route to a 5-2 win over the Brookings Blizzard at the Larson Ice Center.
Leading 1-0 after one, the Cats weathered a furious offensive from the Blizzard that saw the home side pepper Bobcat goalie Hunter Shepard with 12 shots in the first 13-plus minutes of the second—with Shepard stymying Brookings at every turn.
Rookie Pieter von Steinbergs turned the tide back in the visitors’ favor with 5:56 to go in the frame, grabbing a long rebound after Kyle Sylvester rang the iron in transition and firing a low snap shot that pinballed in off the left post to push the score to 2-0.
At the 3:03 mark of the stanza, winger Nick Alexander cashed in his second goal of the night to make it 3-0 Bobcats, grabbing a Patrik Demel and twisting a backhander through the legs of Blizzard netminder Eric Hancock.
Just 68 seconds later, veteran forward Willie Brown pushed the advantage to 4-0 in transition, spiking in a one-timer from Travis Wood on a 2-on-1 rush for his fourth goal of the year.
Aaron Herdt put a cap on the Cats’ offensive outburst 1:25 into the third, pulling the puck out of a scrum before Hancock could cover it and slamming it home to extend the lead to 5-0.
Brookings pushed back, getting consecutive goals from Brenden Payne and former Bobcat Gavin Mindt, but could draw no closer than 5-2 thanks to a 12-save period from Shepard.
Alexander got the Cats on the board with 9:32 remaining in the first, jamming in a Cole Souto rebound. The Dallas, Tex., native had a total of four goals on the weekend to tie Herdt for the team lead at five.
Shepard had his busiest night of 2015-16, stopping 37 shots on the way to his fourth win of the year. Hancock made 28 saves but fell to 3-3-0.
The Bobcats now head home to welcome the newest members of the Central Division, the Minnesota Magicians, to the VFW Sports Center for a two-game series starting Friday at 7:15pm.
Tickets are now on sale for the Cats’ first go-round with the Magicians: fans can buy & print tickets online 24 hours a day at BismarckBobcats.com or Monday-Friday during normal business hours at 222-3300.
Friday’s interstate clash 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 6:45pm.
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.
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