Bismarck 4 – Blizzard 1
In an attempt to steal two points while on the road, the Blizzard were defeated. In front of over 1,100 fans, Brookings fell 1-4 against the Bobcats at the VFW Sports Center in Bismarck. The Friday night contest marked the first appearance of forward Ryan Sete and goaltender Connor Girard.
With the first period being plagued with penalties, both teams went to the locker room scoreless after one. Second period, however, the Blizzard fell behind quickly. After a quick Bobcat goal by Evan Giesler, it took just over five minutes for Brookings to answer. Beau Michaud earned his second goal of the season off assists from Jeff Flicker and Brandon Parker. Despite the quick turnaround goal, Bismarck would light the lamp two more times in the second period alone, leaving the Blizzard trailing by two goals going into the third period.
Bismarck would again score midway through the final frame on a goal by Nate Repensky. The Blizzard would incur 18 penalty minutes on 9 infractions and tally just 23 shots on goal for the night. Despite having four power play attempts, Brookings failed to capitalize and was successful on 4 of 5 penalty kills. Leading Bismarck was Stanislav Dzakhov with one goal and one assist. Recently acquired ne tminder, Edina, MN native Connor Girard, put forth a strong goaltending effort stopping 30 of 34 Bobcat attempts.
Bismarck 3 – Blizzard 1
With the intention of splitting the weekend series with the Bobcats, the Brookings Blizzard fell short on their home ice. In what was a shooting frenzy, the Blizzard were tossed a 1-3 defeat.
Bismarck lit up the scoreboard first with a Cullen Willox goal late in the first period. Down 1-0 after one, the Blizzard blanked the Bobcats in period two but could not find the net on their offensive end. Midway through the third period, Matt Anders scored for Bismarck. Blizzard momentum picked up slightly after a Brandon Parker goal shortly after. The first Blizzard goal saw nearly 200 teddy bears tossed on the ice in donation for Project Joy of Brookings. After the stuffed animals were cleaned off the ice, the game resumed. Trailing 2 goals to 1, the Blizzard failed to score on late power plays and allowed Bismarck one final goal.
While both teams were handed numerous penalties, neither squad could capitalize on power plays. Brookings encountered 7 infractions which led to 17 minutes in penalties. Bismarck had the same number of infractions, but tallied 27 minutes thanks to a ten minute game ejection by Stanislav Dzakhov following his tilt with Blizzard forward Evan Hesse.
The three stars of the night were handed to Branislav Rapac (3rd star), Brandon Parker (2nd star), and goaltender Connor Girard (1st star). The new Blizzard goalie had a tough job on Saturday night and shined stopping all but 3 Bismarck shots on goal. Up from the team average, Brookings put forth 34 shots on goal during the contest.
The Blizzard travel to Austin Friday night and will return home Saturday night to battle the Bruins in the conclusion of a weekend series. In what has been an up and down season series between the two Central Division teams, Brookings hopes to acquire four points in the standings in the upcoming weekend.