With season number 22 facing off, the Bismarck Bobcats only have seven players returning from last year’s team. Returning to the Capital City Kitties, Mitch Walinski got the scoring started with three minutes to go in the first period in the season opener against the Kenai River Brown Bears at the NAHL Showcase at Schwan’s Super Rink in Blaine, Minnesota.

Returning veteran Sam Malinski scored at 2:16 into the second period, giving the Bobcats a 2-0 lead. Kenai River cut their deficit to one just over four minutes later, but the Bobcats got two more goals: Daniel Chladek on another power play at 12:33, and Hunter Olson with just 17 seconds left in the second period, giving the Cats a 4-1 lead going into the final period.

The Bobcats’ Hunter Johannes was given a double minor in the third period, which Bismarck killed off with tremendous play. The Brown Bears thought they scored, but it was waived off by the referee. Kenai River scored the only goal of the third period at 15:50, but it was too late to make a difference.

The Bobcats will go hunting again at 7:00 Thursday evening, against the Maryland Black Bears in their second game of the Showcase.