The sixth-ranked Williston State Tetons stood as Montana State University’s (MSU) first opponents of 2019, and the 10th ranked Bobcats rose to the occasion on Friday and pounced the Tetons 8-5 in front of a home crowd at Ressler Arena in Bozeman.

After the Tetons took an early 1-0 lead in the first period, MSU’s Ryan Padden would answer with a goal, Ryan Perrius following quickly with a second goal, and Connor Stefan would chip in another to give the Bobcats a 3-2 lead at the end of the first frame.

The game would wage back and forth, but MSU would keep the Tetons off the score sheet in the game’s final period and pulled away with an 8-5 win.

On Saturday, both teams would trade scoring opportunities, but Williston State would score three unanswered goals, including the overtime winner to the Bobcats 6-5.

Bing and Ross Hanson would have two goals apiece to lead the Cats in scoring.

“We played a very good Williston team. They are ranked 6th in the region and have been playing really well of late,” said Coach Dave, Weaver. “Saturday was a learning experience for our team. Giving up a 2 goal lead with under 5 minutes to play is tough, but I believe we will grow as a team as a result,” said Head Coach Dave Weaver.

The Bobcats will look to rebound this week with a huge opportunity against three top 20 opponents.

On Thursday, the University of Providence in Great Falls will come to town followed by the Eastern Washington Eagles on Friday and Saturday. hursday and Friday’s games will face off at 7 pm while Saturday will feature a 1:30 pm matinee. All the games will be played at the Ice Arena Gallatin County Fairgrounds. For more info on the upcoming games and MSU hockey, check out our website at msuhockey.com

By Merrick Parnell