ALEXANDRIA, MN – The Bismarck Bobcats saw their season-high win streak end at eight as they fell Saturday to the hottest team in the NAHL, the Alexandria Blizzard, by a count of 6-4 at the Runestone Center.
With the win, the Blizzard secured their league-high tenth straight win and pulled within 11 points of the frontrunning Bobcats.
After the two sides traded scoring chances through the first ten-plus minutes of action, Alexandria struck first in the matchup of the top two teams in the Central Division—cashing in a power play chance on a Nick D’Avolio redirect of a Michael Mooney point shot with 6:43 left in the opening frame for a 1-0 Blizzard lead.
The Bobcats battled right back just 34 seconds later on the rush when former Blizzard Adam Knochenmus batted home a puck that had been slapped off Dan Zawacki’s stick for a 1-1 tie.
Alexandria responded in kind on the rush as Reid Sturos sold Bobcat goalie Tommy Burke on a centering feed on a 2-on-1 rush and then put the puck on net, beating Burke five-hole to push the home side ahead 2-1 with 2:16 to go in the first.
Only 67 seconds later, the Bobcats found another answer—this time on the power play—as a Danny Ray 40-footer deflected off a Blizzard defender and over the glove of Alexandria netminder Jacob Meyers to force a 2-2 tie heading into intermission.
Out of the break, the Bobcats took their only lead of the game at 3-2 on Castan Sommer’s 22nd goal of 2011-12 when the second year veteran blasted home his own rebound on a 5-on-3 power play 3:36 into the middle frame.
Alexandria’s power play took control of the second period after that, however, ringing up consecutive goals from Hayden Trupp and D’Avolio as the Blizzard seized a 4-3 lead after two.
True to the game’s form, the Bobcats were able to force a tie again at 4-4 quickly in the third as Patrick Moore created an offensive zone turnover that he fed to the front for Tyler Richter to stuff past Meyers a mere 2:16 into the third.
The searing offense for the Blizzard, however, was too much for the Bobcats to handle as Justin Moody slammed home a Seth Ronsberg rebound with 8:50 to go in regulation and Sturos added an empty netter for the final 6-4 final.
Burke provided 38 saves but could not avoid his fifth regulation loss of the season. Meyers tied his season-high for goals against with four, but nailed down his 20th win of the year on 29 saves.
The Bobcats will take a five-day breather and then continue their four-game road swing with a pair of 7:05 PM contests at Riverside Arena against the third-place Austin Bruins on Friday and Saturday before returning to Alexandria for a 5:00 PM Sunday rematch against the Blizzard.
All three away contests 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 30 minutes before each game. Fans can watch the games—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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on reserving a pro-rated package for the rest of the season!