Bismarck best Wings Saturday

Jan 22, 2023

If ‘puck luck’ was a real thing, the Bismarck Bobcats certainly had it on their side Saturday night as they took a 10-4 win over the Aberdeen Wings inside the VFW Sports Center.

Bismarck got out quickly with three goals in the game’s first seven minutes. Erik Atchison got the Bobcats on the board first at the 3:28 mark, Calvin Hanson doubled the lead at the 4:09 mark, and Hanson scored again at the 6:50 mark. Wings goaltender Geno Pichora was pulled from between the pipes and Cole Moore stepped in, and it seemed like the Wings were ready to mount a comeback.

That started when Devon Carlstrom fired from the blue line and Nikolai Tishkevich got the redirect for Aberdeen’s first goal of the game at the 11:59 mark. Tishkevich got his third goal on the weekend, 14th overall, while Carlstrom got his 12th assist and Patrick O’Connell racked up his 18th.

The Wings brought the score within one almost exactly a minute later when Michael Casey chased down a puck in the Bobcats’ zone and centered to Roope Tuomioksa, who fired into the back of the net at the 12:58 mark to bring the score within one. Tuomioksa, playing in just his second game, got his first goal as a Wing, while Casey notched his 16th assist on the year and Kyle Contessa picked up his 13th.

But the Bobcats responded on the rush at the 14:30 mark when Vertti Jantunen scored, giving his team the two-goal lead again. And in the period’s final minute, a bench minor led to a 5-on-3 attack for Bismarck — and Patrick Johnson scored a power play goal at the 19:45 mark to take a 5-2 lead after the first 20 minutes of play.

The Wings started the second period on the penalty kill but stood strong, even getting a couple good looks in the process. They went on the power play again shortly after, and Logan Gravink took a wrist-shot from the circle for a power play goal at the 3:38 mark. It was his second goal of the weekend, fifth overall on the season, while Luke Lindsay got his fifth assist and Landon Parker grabbed his 14th.

But Bismarck responded quickly when Jantunen got one back less than a minute later, getting the three-goal lead back at the 4:21 mark. And back-to-back Wings penalties in the period’s final minutes led to another 5-on-3 attack for Bismarck — and they took advantage when Adam Pietila scored, bringing the score to 7-3.

With Pichora back in net, the Wings had to once again start the following period on the penalty kill, but this time Bismarck succeeded with the man-advantage when Michael Neumeier scored just 28 seconds into the period. Evan Hunter got a goal at the 10:41 mark and Pietila scored again at the 17:21 mark for the 10-3 lead.

Twenty-two seconds later, Owen Benoit took a cross-ice pass and fired from the circle for the Wings’ fourth goal of the game at the 17:43 mark. It was Benoit’s first goal wearing the Wings’ sweater, while Dylan Wegner got his ninth assist and Luke Backel picked up his sixth.

Overall, the Bobcats outshot the Wings 34-28, going 3-7 on the power play, while the Wings went 1-5.

The Wings (19-14-1-2) and the Bobcats (15-16-3-2) have now played three consecutive games, but they’re not done yet — Aberdeen will host the Bobcats inside the Odde Ice Center to close out the month on Jan. 27-28. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the puck drops at 7:15 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets ahead of the weekend online at, or at the door on game nights. $10 general admission tickets can also be purchased at any C-Express location in Aberdeen, with additional purchase.

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