Bozeman Stingers End Season with a Series Split Against Fond Du Lac

The Bozeman Stingers End BDHL Season with a Series Split Against Fond Du Lac

The Bozeman Stingers closed out their 2023-2024 Black Diamond League (BDHL) season with a home series against Fond Du Lac in Bozeman this past weekend. 

The Stingers split the series over February 16th and 17th as they took game one 5-1 against the Fond Du Lac (Wisconsin) Bears in a well-rounded offensive effort. Five different Stingers would score in the series opening game. 

“We mixed up our lines and got production from everyone. When we had chances, we buried the puck. When they had a chance or two, we got a timely save. Our execution was great the first game,” said Ryan Padden, who finished with a goal in the first game.

Defensively, the Stingers put together a solid game as they shut out the Bears for every period, except the second frame where Fond Du Lac netted their only goal. 

On Saturday, the Singers would jump out to a two-goal lead at the end of the third as they led 3-1. Bozeman would allow the Bears to claw back in the second with three goals to tie the game. 

The third frame would see another deadlock as both sides scored a goal a-piece to send the game into overtime. In another balanced effort, Bozeman had five different goal scores. However, the evenly dispersed goal-scoring would not be enough, as the Bears would earn a 6-5 shootout victory, splitting the series. 

The series marked a homecoming for one Montana player who skates for Fond Du Lac. Danny Roe, of Havre, had played for the Montana Thunderblades AA team from 2007-2010-11 before going on to play Junior Hockey for the Glacier Nationals (Norpac and American West Hockey League) and Whitefish Wolverines in the Western States Hockey League. The games in Bozeman marked the first time Roe had played competitively back in the state since the 2014-2015 season. 

“It [playing back in Montana] was amazing! Playing against old teammates I haven’t seen in many years is always special! My parents, wife, and other friends and family members made the drive down, making it even more special to play in front of them. It’s been a while since they have seen me play, so it was good to get the W tonight,” he exclaimed. 

Roe found his way onto the Bears team after playing college hockey for Marian University Fond Du Lac. The Bear’s player was impressed with Bozeman on and off the ice. “They are swift, shifty and move the puck well, giving themselves lots of scoring opportunities,” he said. As far as the crowd, he stated, “[On Saturday] the crowd was much more into the game, and that always gives the game a little more intensity and makes the game fun.” s

After the action this weekend, Bozeman Capitan Luke Bing said, “It was a good fun series. Unfortunately, we couldn’t complete the sweep. We didn’t play a complete game Saturday and let them hang around,” he continued. 

As far as the whole season, Bing said, “We made great strides as an organization this year, beating Jackson on the road after almost a decade without a win down there, coming one goal short of being .500 at home and overall playing competitive hockey. We played close with every team we lined up against and are excited for next year to keep the momentum going.”