Bobcats Conquer Carolina in Thrilling 2-1 OT Win

by Brett Wiseman


In the 13th and final meeting between the regional rivals, 13 was the lucky number for the Blue Ridge Bobcats, who finally defeated the Carolina Thunderbirds by a score of 2-1 in a thrilling overtime game.

Both teams played solid, structured, physical hockey along all 200 feet of the ice all night long, and both team's goaltenders put on clinics in their respective creases.

Both squads played to a scoreless first period. 90 seconds into the second period, Alex Norwinski created and won a wall battle, found Josh Newberg, who then found Nikita Ivashkin all alone in front of the net. Ivashkin put a series of super skill moves on Mario Cavaliere and beat him for his 27th goal of the season to put Blue Ridge up 1-0.

Carolina answered later in the middle frame, and the score remained tied through the third and into overtime.

Owen Liskiewicz, who stopped 42 of 43 Thunderbirds shots in net for the Bobcats, made a series of massive saves in overtime to set up Blue Ridge for a chance to win it. Vladislav Vlasov did just that, snapping a wrist shot through Cavaliere for the game-winning goal at the 3:40 mark of the extra frame.

Ivashkin's goal earned him third star, Liskiewicz 42 saves netted him second star, and Vlasov's 15th goal of the season to win it earned him first star honors on the night.

The Bobcats will now embark on their final road trip of the season, visiting the first place Columbus River Dragons for a two-game series next Friday and Saturday night.