March 9, 2013 - North American Hockey League (NAHL) - Bismarck Bobcats
BISMARCK, ND - When the Bismarck Bobcats found themselves in a one-goal game early in the second period Saturday, they pushed back hard and ran away with a 5-1 victory over the Minot Minotauros at the VFW Sports Center.
Leading by two five minutes into the middle frame, the Bobcats saw their lead slip to at 2-1 on Grand Forks native Jacob Benson's first career goal off a Matt Audette rebound at the 14:05 mark.
The Bobcats responded almost immediately as veteran forward Patrick Moore struck a mere 16 seconds after Benson's tally, slicing home an Adam Knochenmus rebound to push the lead back to two at 3-1.
Just 47 seconds after Moore's goal- 1:03 after Benson's- Mike Dockry shook off a goalless streak that dated back to December 7: grabbing a centering feed from former Minot forward Seth Blair, out-waiting the Tauros' defense and beaming a shot over the glove of netminder Ryan Ruck for a 4-1 spread for the home side.
"I thought Mikey was our hardest-working guy out there tonight," credited Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, whose team secured their 30^th win of the season Saturday, "he was using his speed to create opportunities and got a goal that he had been so close to for a while now. It's big for guys like him and Patty to get that confidence back now that we're getting close to the playoffs."
Bobcat goalie Bryan Nies made his biggest stop of the night with 2:11 to go in the second on a point-blank denial of a redirect from Benson- his former teammate at Red River High School- to keep the Cats ahead by three.
Matt Pohlkamp put the finishing touches on the win for the Cats, tacking on a power play goal off a Filip Starzynski rebound with 2:15 to go in the game for the final 5-1 score.
Levi Blom got the scoring started just 1:48 into the contest for a fast 1-0 Bobcat lead, firing a point feed from Moore off Ruck and in for his fifth goal of the season and second goal in five games.
An early goal in the second from Matt Anders doubled the advantage to 2-0 as the rookie forward out of Lafayette, Colo., lopped in a Dan Kovar rebound for his fifth goal in the last 11 games and ninth goal of the season at the 17:55 mark of the second.
In his 19th appearance, Nies racked up 21 saves to lock down his 10^th career win and second in as many games. Ruck, who shut out the Cats the last time he faced them, took his eighth loss of 2012-13 on 43 saves.
With a sell-out crowd at the VFW Sports Center, the Bobcats were able to help raise nearly $1,300 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America thanks to Farmers Union Insurance.
The Bobcats and Minotauros will reconvene for a rematch Thursday at the VFW Sports Center, a make-up game for the February 2 contest that was postponed due to hazardous travel conditions. Tickets from the original game will be honored at the door.
Tickets for the game are on sale right now by calling the box office at 222-3300 or buying and printing tickets online at www.BismarckBobcats.com.