Cats Comeback Falls Just Short In 4-2 Defeat to Dragons
The Blue Ridge Bobcats finally broke their scoreless drought and came out of the holiday break with one of their strongest performances to date, taking the Columbus River Dragons to the brink. The Dragons held on for a 4-2 win, but as the game went on, the new-look Bobcats seemed to begin connecting on all cylinders.
Owen Liskiewicz made his Bobcats debut in goal, and did everything he could and more. Liskiewicz stopped 34 of the 37 shots he faced. The goals that beat him all came in the second period. Justin MacDonald's 300th career FPHL point was an assist to Austin Daae on a backdoor tap-in goal. The second goal came after the Bobcats were stonewalled off multiple chances in front of Brendan Colgan, and a classic Columbus Civic Center funky puck bounce created a 2-on-0 break that Alex Storjohann converted on. Carson Andreoli added the third marker late in the middle frame.
Blue Ridge came out with guns blazing, showing heart, grit and determination for the entire final 20 minutes.
Ricards Jelenskis, also making his Blue Ridge debut, ripped home a wrist shot to the far side of Colgan from outside the faceoff dot for his first goal as a Bobcat to break a team-long 8-plus period scoreless drought just 85 seconds into the final frame. For once, the puck bounced the Bobcats way and created a breakaway for Savva Smirnov, which he converted on to cut the lead to one at 3-2 at the 6:36 mark of the 3rd. Alexander Jmaeff sealed the win with an empty netter at the 19:50 mark of regulation.
Hunter Hall, Jakub Volf and Danny Martin each picked up their 8th assists off the season respectively on both of Blue Ridge's third period goals, Gehrig Lindberg picked up his first career FPHL apple on Jelenskis' goal.
Both teams are back at it tomorrow night at 7:05 PM. BobcatsTV pregame coverage begins at 6:50 PM.