FRISCO, Texas - Stanislov Dzakhov’s breakaway goal with 95 seconds remaining in the third period broke a tie and gave the Bismarck Bobcats a 3-2 win over the Wenatchee Wild on Friday in both teams’ first game at the 2013 NAHL Robertson Cup Championship Tournament at Dr Pepper Arena.
After receiving a long pass, Dzakhov used a forehand-to-backhand move for the game-winner.
“We had our chances,” said Wenatchee Wild head coach Bliss Littler. “That’s a tough one … it’s one of those nights. You have to forget about the loss, move on quickly and get ready to play again (Saturday).”
With about 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the first period, Joe Giordano gave the Bobcats a 1-0 lead with a goal, but 36 seconds later, the Wild tied the game on a goal from Dylan Abood.
Wenatchee took a 2-1 lead about halfway through the second period thanks to Evan Schmidbauer’s marker, but the advantage wouldn’t hold for long; less than two minutes later, Matt Anders’ goal tied the game at 2-2.
The Wild had a couple of opportunities to score the go-ahead goal in the third period, but couldn’t convert.
Jono Davis launched a slap shot from the slot with 11:31 left in the third period that clanged off the goal post.
After the Bobcats turned the puck over at their blue line with four minutes remaining, Joe Sullivan and Jacob Barber executed a give-and-go, but on Barber’s return feed, Sullivan was tied up by a defender and could not tap the puck into a wide-open net.
Goalie Robert Nichols made 18 saves for Wenatchee, which out-shot the Bobcats 25-21. Chris Jones, Josh Hartley and Chris Kerr tallied assists for the Wild.
The Amarillo Bulls posted a 2-1 overtime victory over the Jamestown Ironmen in Friday’s other Robertson Cup contest. The Wild will continue round-robin play Saturday with a game against Jamestown.
The fourth-seeded Ironmen won the NAHL’s North Division regular-season title.
“They’re a good defensive team,” Littler said. “They skate well, they’re very tactical, very systematic. We’ll have to bring our A-game Saturday.”