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Despite heroic effort, Bobcats fall in OT

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Bismarck Bobcats forward Quinn Rudrud, middle, takes a shot on goal in the first period Friday night against St. Cloud at the VFW Sports Center. 

A game-tying goal with one second left in regulation highlighted a spirited comeback by the Bobcats, but St. Cloud scored the winning goal in overtime for a 4-3 win Friday night at the VFW Sports Center.

Bismarck's Quinn Rudrud sent the game into overtime by tipping home a power-play goal with two-tenths of a second remaining in overtime, off a feed from teammates Jon Ziskie and Issac Novak.

The Bobcats had a 1-0 lead after the first period on a goal by newcomer Brandon Reller, who knifed through the St. Cloud defense and tipped the shot past St. Cloud netminder Tomas Bolo.

Second-period action was not kind to the Bobcats, as they allowed three goals to the Norsemen.

The game was tied briefly at two goals apiece when Rudrud scored his first tally of the game 30 seconds after the second St. Cloud goal. But, a shot from the point by St. Cloud defenseman Nick Young put the Norsemen ahead until Rudrud's buzzer-beating goal.

The Bobcats were not short on chances in the second and third periods, but could not manage more than Rudrud's two goals, despite having more than a dozen Grade-A chances in and around the crease of Bolo.

Overtime was nearly ended almost immediately on a great chance by the Bobcats, but Bolo stood strong in his crease.

A collision in St. Cloud's end between a St. Cloud player and two Bobcats players left the home team short-handed on the resulting 3-on-1 rush. Bismarck goalie Erik Forss made the initial save, but he wasn't able to corral the rebound, and Brandon Lajoie finished what his teammates started 2:01 into the overtime period.

Forss finished the game with 28 saves on 32 St. Cloud shots. Bolo finished with 24 saves.

With the win, the Norsemen earned two points, while the Bobcats settled for one.

The two teams come right back to play each other tonight. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.

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