Bobcat Offense Stalls at Home
BISMARCK, ND – Despite numerous scoring chances, the Bismarck Bobcats could not break the spell of goaltender Drew Weigman and suffered a 1-0 loss Saturday at the VFW Sports Center to the Brookings Blizzard as a consequence, falling into a second-place tie with the Blizzard in the Central Division standings.
Following a scoreless first period in which neither team created many scoring chances, the Bobcats saw a golden opportunity slip away on a 2-on-1 rush early in the second when Mike Dockry missed a wide-open net on a back-door pass from Adam Knochenmus.
That missed opportunity came back to haunt the Cats minutes later on the penalty kill as a broken play freed Joe Anderson to zip a wrist shot past Bobcat goalie Aaron Nelson to push the Blizzard ahead 1-0 with 11:29 to go in the second.
After Anderson’s go-ahead tally, Brookings nearly doubled their lead with a 5-on-3 power play on a stuff-in attempt by Eric Brenk that Bobcat blueliner Rory Vesel was able to block into the pads of Nelson to keep the score 1-0.
The Bobcats mounted a valiant effort to wipe out Weigman’s shutout in the third, starting 2:29 into the final frame when Joe Giordano was unable to twist a back-door feed from Shane Omdahl in before the Brookings netminder could recover to his right.
Later in the third, Filip Starzynski and Bob Kinne both had short breakaways nullified by strong positional play by Weigman.
When a late power play for Brookings went by the boards, Jeremy O’Keefe nearly found an equalizer on a 2-on-1 rush with Matt Anders, beaming a rising shot that Weigman initially had trouble playing with his glove, but was able to recover and freeze before the puck could roll across the goal line with 55 seconds left.
Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie pulled Nelson for the ensuing faceoff, but a pair of clears by the Brookings defense kept the Cats’ attack at bay and sealed the final score at 1-0 in favor of the visitors.
Tempers flared after the final horn as Brookings’ bench cleared to jump in when Nate Repensky and Aidan Cavallini got into it for the second time on the night as time expired.
30 stops were not enough for Nelson to avoid his fifth loss of 2012-13; it is the second time this year (November 2) that Nelson took the loss despite surrendering just one goal.
Weigman earned his third shutout of the year on 24 saves.
With the loss, the Bobcats (19-13-2, 40 pts) saw their season-high four-game win streak come to an end as they fell into a second-place tie with the Blizzard (19-12-2, 40 pts) and just one point ahead of Minot (18-15-3, 39 pts) amid the jumble in the middle of the Central Division standings.
The Bobcats will now strike out on the road to open a home-and-home series with the Aberdeen Wings Friday at Odde Ice Center with a 7:15 PM showdown with their biggest rivals before returning home Saturday for a rematch with the Wings.
Friday’s installment of the Titan Machinery Dakota Cup 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 6:45 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.