Bobcats Eliminated From Playoff Hunt as Comeback Falls Short
The Bismarck Bobcats needed to win both games this weekend during the final weekend of the regular season, but the Austin Bruins had other plans.
The Bruins (23-27-4-5) got off to a fast start and were up 4-0 on the Bobcats (28-29-1-1) with 10 minutes to go in the third period before Bismarck was able to get on the board. Three late goals from the Bobcats weren't enough as the Bruins added one more goal in the last minute on an empty-netter to finish off the scoring as Austin beat Bismarck, 5-3. With the loss, the Bobcats are eliminated from playoff contention.
Bismarck needed to win and needed help in order to earn the last playoff spot in the NAHL Central Division. However, even if the Bobcats had won, the Brookings Blizzard would still clinch the last spot, as they beat the Aberdeen Wings in an overtime-shootout, 3-2. The Blizzard would've had to lose their last two games in addition to two wins from the Bobcats in order for Bismarck to get a spot in the playoffs.
As for the Bobcats' game, the Bruins were led by Jack Murphy, Justin Misiak, and Travis Kothenbeutel, as each had a goal and an assist. Jake Kucharski made 39 saves on 42 shot attempts for Austin. In a losing cause, Jordan Fralich, Tobias Fladeby, and Nick Alexander scored a goal apiece, while Severi Isokangas made 27 saves for Bismarck.
This is the first time since 2008 that the Bobcats will not make the playoffs.
Bismarck will finish off their season tonight at the VFW Sports Complex against the Austin Bruins once again. Game time is at 7:15 p.m. For tickets, call 222-3300 or buy and print them at BismarckBobcats.com.