BISMARCK, ND – Solag Bakich and Jared Pike each scored twice, while Hunter Shepard made 20 saves, and Bismarck claimed game five of the Central Finals on Monday night at VFW Sports Center, advancing to the Robertson Cup final four. It is Bismarck's sixtth Central Division Postseason title, and their first since 2013.
The opening period was very tight, with each team mustering eight shots on goal. Jan Stefka and Evan Cholak had great scoring chances and were denied by Shepard. Bismarck dominated the second period, setting the tone 13 seconds in when Solag Bakich put a rebound past a sprawling Kris Carlson. In a period where the Bobcats outshot Austin 18-3, Jared Pike's shorthanded goal late in the frame was a big blow, giving Bismarck a 2-0 lead at the second intermission.
The two goal lead was plenty for Shepard and the Bismarck defense as Pike and Batna added empty netters to bring the final score to 4-0. Carlson made 31 saves on 33 shots in the losing effort. Bismarck advances to take on Wichita Falls in the Robertson Cup Semifinals beginning Thursday. Aston takes on Fairbanks in the other half of the bracket.