Cats Outclawed By Carolina In 5-4 Thriller

by Brett Wiseman


In one of the most entertaining and thrilling games of the season, not just for the Bobcats but across the league, Blue Ridge fell one goal short in a 5-4 regulation defeat to the Carolina Thunderbirds before a Saturday night crowd of 1,612 at the APEX Center.

The Bobcats nearly scored in the first minute of the game for the second night in a row, but had it waived off after official video review. Carolina jumped to a 2-0 lead, but the Bobcats never stopped fighting all night long.

Vladislav Vlasov put home a huge goal for Blue Ridge on the power play at the 18:36 mark of the opening frame, pulling the Cats within one after the first period. 

Carson Andreoli continued the scorching start to his Bobcats tenue, roofing home a backhand goal at the 8:24 mark of the middle frame, evening the score. Things would remain even at 2 after 40 minutes, preluding a thrilling third period.

Both teams traded blows and went back-and-forth in an electrifying final frame. Vlasov's second goal of the night gave the Bobcats a 3-2 lead just 72 seconds into the third period.

Both teams' number 14's and acting captains followed with goals, with Carolina's Jon Buttitta and Blue Ridge's Josh Newberg trading markers. Newberg's shorthanded goal came on a 3-on-1 rush and put the Bobcats ahead 4-3 at the 5:09 mark on the third.

Carolina showed their mark down the stretch, tying the game late, and reigning league MVP Gus Ford put home the game-winner on the power play with just 37 seconds remaining in regulation.

The two teams meet again on Wednesday night at 7:30