Seventh Heaven: Bruins use Power Play to Sweep Bobcats

BISMARCK, ND – On the back of four third period power play goals, the Bruins exploded offensively and topped the Bobcats in a wild game by a score of 8-6 to sweep their rivals, win their seventh game in a row, and take sole possession of first place in the Central Division.

For the second night in a row, the Bobcats scored first, this time taking just 1:17 when Ty Enns got open in front and buried a pass from Lukas Millen for a 1-0 Bismarck lead. Jaden Shields, coming off his first two NAHL goals on Friday, stayed hot by netting his third at 7:08 to tie the game. Alex Mella made a nifty pass out of the corner to set it up. Bismarck responded quickly when Jared Resseguie scored 1:10 later to put the Bobcats back in front. Less than three minutes after that, Jacob Marti scored his first of the season to give Bismarck a two goal lead. At 13:09, Travis Kothenbeutel set up Andy Willis on a power play to close the lead back to one. With just over two minutes to go, Enns scored his second of the night, a one-timer on the power play to give the Bobcats a 4-2 lead, which they took into the first intermission.

After killing off a carry over penalty, the Bruins quickly made it 4-3 when Dante Sheriff deflected a left-point shot from Chase Pilawski at 1:24 of the second period. The Bruins had the potential game-tying goal waived off on a high-stick by Will Baginski, making his Bruins debut, but at 10:58, Dan Petrick ripped a shot on a setup from Valdemar Ahlberg to make it 4-4. In the Bruins net, Alex Schilling replaced Mads Sogaard to begin the second period while Bobcat starter Ryan Ullan was pulled in favor of John Roberts after the fourth Austin goal. The game was tied at four heading to the third.

Enns would complete the hat trick with a bad angle shot off the wall at 5:52 of the third to put Bismarck on top 5-4, but the turning point moment came shortly after when Nick Woodward was assessed a major penalty for facemasking, resulting in a three-minute Bruins power play. At 8:29, Evan Cholak tied the game after Andy Willis dangled down to the right-wing circle and slid the puck across the slot. Cholak scored a similar goal 30 seconds later to give the Bruins the lead. Shields and Kothenbeutel completed an amazing 2:25 span by adding goals to put the Bruins ahead, 8-5.

Bismarck assistant coach Garrett Roth was charged with an abuse of officials gross misconduct after throwing several sticks and a whiteboard onto the ice following the power play barrage. After a lengthy delay, the game resumed and a Lukas Millen power play goal was the only scoring in the final 9:06 of the game. Schilling faced just six shots to earn the win while the loss went to Roberts for allowing four goals on six shots.

The Bruins won all four trips to Bismarck for the regular season and have swept three consecutive road trips there dating back to the end of last season. They hold a two point edge over Aberdeen for first place in the Central Division and will play a home-and-home series with Brookings beginning Friday at Larson Ice Center and returning home Saturday night. Both games begin at 7:05. Fans can purchase tickets for $4 off the door price at Hy-Vee, Jim’s Marketplace, Games People Play, and the Holiday Inn.