Bobcats Escape with Shootout Win over Wings
BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats survived a hectic sixty-five minutes against their archrivals, the Aberdeen Wings, prevailing in the first round of the Titan Machinery Dakota Cup with a 4-3 shootout win Friday at the VFW Sports Center.
“That wasn’t our best hockey out there, but we’re sure glad to get out of that one with two points,” admitted Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie. “We didn’t execute the game plan very well, but we got a big night from our special teams and gutted out a win in front of our fans.”
On the night, the Bobcat penalty kill went a perfect 4-for-4 while the power play stayed hot, scoring twice on five chances.
It was Aberdeen, though, who struck first as Heinz Koster streaked past the Bobcat defense to grab a loose puck and wire a snap shot over the glove of goalie Aaron Nelson to boost the Wings to a 1-0 lead a mere 2:02 into the game.
A perfectly placed stretch pass from Rory Vesel sprung Bobcat forward Mike Dockry for a 60-foot breakaway 3:06 later; Dockry cashed in the opportunity with a five-hole shot past Aberdeen netminder Paige Skoog, evening the score at one.
When the Bobcats earned their first power play on a slashing minor to Jonathon Grebosky, a stroke of luck helped the home side take the lead as second-year forward Joe Sullivan blocked a point blast from Levi Blom but inadvertently played the loose puck to Cats top scorer Patrick Moore, who whipped a one-timer past Skoog for 2-1 edge for the Bobcats with 8:40 left in the first.
Peter Krieger knotted the game back up at two just 61 seconds after Moore’s go-ahead strike, stepping out of the corner and wrapping the puck around Nelson and inside the far post for his sixth goal of the year.
The tally was the second goal scored by the Wings on as many shots to open the game. Nelson would recover to make a transition save on leading Aberdeen scorer Justin Parizek moments later to spark a run of 12 straight stops.
“Aaron was pretty close to having to come over and have a chat with me to calm his nerves,” recalled Sedevie, a former goaltender himself. “But he came back and made a huge save on the next shift and settled right down.”
Bob Kinne gave the Cats last word in a wild opening frame, converting another power play opportunity as the 20 year old from St. Paul, Minn., tapped in a back-door pass from Joe Giordano to post the Bobcats to a 3-2 lead with just 33 seconds left in the period.
Defense prevailed after a high scoring first, as the only goal in the final 40 minutes of regulation came from Aberdeen’s Erik Baskin on a scramble in front of Nelson, with the 6’3” power forward hoisting a Kyle Haak rebound up and in with 2:34 left in the second. The goal would eventually force overtime after a scoreless third period.
Lightly tested on their first three trips onto the ice, the Bobcat penalty kill withstood a pointed charge from the Wings, whose power play unit enjoyed a man advantage that spanned the end of regulation and the start of overtime but only put one shot on Nelson during their final opportunity.
In fact, Nelson did not face a shot in overtime, while Skoog fended off three prime Bobcat scoring opportunities in the extra stanza to send the game to a decisive shootout.
Aberdeen struggled to solve Nelson in the best-of-five affair, as the Century High graduate stymied the first three Wing shooters before Shane Omdahl scorched in a wrist shot to post the Cats to a 1-0 shootout lead.
Nelson followed Omdahl’s strike with a surgical poke on Parizek and a point-blank denial of Sullivan to collect his fifth win of 2012-13 as the Bobcats prevailed by a final of 4-3.
Skoog suffered the loss, dropping the first-year goalie to 2-2-1 on the season.
The Bobcats will wrap up the weekend with a trip up US-83 for another rivalry matchup as they square off at 8:05 PM with the Minot Minotauros for the first time in the regular season.
Saturday’s weekend finale from Maysa Arena 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 7:35 PM.
Pro-rated 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.