Bobcats Settle for Weekend Split with Bruins
BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats could not recover from conceding an early third-period goal and fell 3-2 Saturday to the Austin Bruins at the VFW Sports Center, finishing the two-game weekend series with a split.
With the game tied at two entering the third period, the Cats fell behind 3:20 into the frame when Dawson DiPietro ripped down Joe Tyran on the forecheck and fed a wide-open Gilbert Gabor for a one-time strike that pushed the visitors ahead 3-2.
Following the goal, Austin deployed a neutral zone trap that stymied the Bobcat attack who, despite 12 shots in the third, could not create enough consistent offensive zone possessions to solve netminder Kristofer Carlson.
A last-minute penalty on Jared Pike sealed the Cats’ fate Saturday, as the Bruins held the home side at bay once more to nail down the 3-2 win—their only victory at the VFW Sports Center in 2015-16.
As they did Friday, Austin struck first again when Jan Stefka rifled home a cross-ice pass from Austin Rueschhoff to put the Bruins up 1-0 just 2:49 into the game.
Just 1:34 later, the Cats drew even at one on a stroke of luck as second-year winger Jared Pike flew a low wrister that bounced off Carlson, off the back wall, back off Carlson and in.
Willie Brown gave the Bobcats their only lead of the night with 8:39 left in the opening stanza, collecting a pass in the high slot from Jared Resseguie and blazing a wrist shot over Carlson’s blocker to get the crowd of 1,291 roaring in approval of the 2-1 advantage.
Austin tied the game at two with 2:27 remaining in the first on the power play as Rueschhoff rifled a low shot through traffic that beat Bobcat goalie David Fessenden inside the left post.
Despite five straight power plays—including a brief 5-on-3 advantage—and a 16-6 edge in shots in the second, the Cats could not break through on the man advantage, leaving the game tied heading into the third.
After turning in 45 saves Friday, Carlson had another busy night: turning in 33 saves to pick up his ninth win. Fessenden performed well despite a leg injury in the second, stopping 21 shots but slipping to 0-3-0 on his inaugural NAHL campaign.
Now the scene shifts to southern Minnesota, as the two sides will meet again for two games in Austin starting Friday with a 7:05pm duel at Riverside Arena.
Friday’s road tilt will be broadcast live locally on 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 6:35pm.
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: