Rivalry game ends in overtime heartbreaker

In a back-and-forth game on Saturday night, Bobcat Hockey dropped a heartbreaker to the Montana Tech Orediggers in sudden-death overtime. MSU held leads in each period, but the Orediggers seemed to have an answer for every goal the Cats scored.

Alex Hagman started the scoring with a goal assisted by Corey Jewell to give the Cats the early lead with under 12 minutes to play in the first period, but in just two minutes Montana Tech tied it up 1-1. Right wing Tyler Francis started the second period with a goal assisted by defenseman Austin Miller to put MSU ahead 2-1, but the Orediggers answered again to tie it before intermission.

Michael Allport put the Cats on top again in the third period off another assist by Miller, but the Orediggers tied it up with three minutes to play, and MSU couldn’t sneak another goal past Motnana Tech before the buzzer.

Stiff defense and superb saves by both goalies forced a long overtime period until the wheels fell off for MSU. MSU goalie Will Thompson had 30 saves at the end of regulation, but couldn’t get a glove on one in the sudden death overtime. “Morale is low,” Thompson said. “We led with 3 minutes left … and took some dumb penalties which cost us the game.”

It’s time to get back to basics for the Bobcats. “The legs feed the wolf,” Thompson said, “and it’s time for a beg skate.” A beg skate is practice with no puck — the practices that really hurt — but beg skates tend to whip players into shape and remind them that you can’t win unless you do the small things.

The Bobcats will try to right the ship against Walla Walla this weekend. Games are Saturday, Feb. 2 at 10:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 3 at 4:30 p.m. at the Haynes Pavilion at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds.