Wings edge Bobcats in shootout on Thursday, 4-3
March 13, 2015
Aberdeen 4 @ Bismarck 3 (SO) - Despite falling 4-3 Thursday to the Aberdeen Wings, the Bismarck Bobcats rallied late to force overtime and eventually a shootout and bring their magic number for clinching a playoff spot down to two points in the Central Division chase.
Facing down a 3-2 deficit through two periods, the Bobcat defense kept the contest close as they held Aberdeen to just one shot in the entire third period—setting a new season-best for shots allowed in a period.
With goalie Hunter Shepard pulled in the final minute and a half of regulation, the Bobcats notched their first extra-attacker equalizer of the season with 32 seconds left as Tanner Salsberry beamed a low slap shot through traffic that deflected in under the crossbar to tie the game 3-3 and send the contest to overtime.
In the extra frame, the Bobcats outshot the Wings 5-1, but could not hit the net on their best opportunities, necessitating a shootout.
Of the 10 shooters to get a chance in the shootout, only Aberdeen’s Michael Soucier scored—in the fifth round—to hand the Wings the 4-3 overtime win.
It was the Wings who struck first Thursday, as veteran winger Bjorn Sigurdarson cashed in a Bobcat turnover past Shepard’s glove in traffic just 1:28 into the game for a fast lead for the visitors at 1-0.
The Bobcats battled right back, with a power play goal from Oskars Batna and an even-strength snipe by Willie Brown to snare a 2-1 lead after one.
Aberdeen captain Kyle Haak took over the game in the second, tallying a shorthanded goal and a power play goal in a five-minute span to pull the Wings right back in front at 3-2 through two.
Shepard submitted 15 saves in his first shootout loss of the season; Wings netminder Luke Kania turned aside 43 Bobcat attempts in regulation and OT plus all five Bobcat shootout offerings for his first win of the season.
Thursday was also St. Baldrick’s Night for the Cats; all 23 Bobcat players shaved their heads and auctioned their game-worn jerseys to benefit the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and its fight against childhood cancer. In all, the jersey auction raised $7,200, pushing the Cats’ six-year total close to $60,000 in jersey funds raised for St. Baldrick’s. (By Paul Teeple)