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Bobcats Loaded With Locals

Posted December 10th, 2012 @ 12:00 am

This year the Jr. A Bobcats roster is loaded with local talent. In total, six players and seven affiliates with connections to the Lakeland region have dawned the Bobcat orange during the 2012-2013 season.

Leading the way is third year forward Casey Knight, who is originally from St. Walburg, Saskatchewan. The gritty 20 year old has amassed a total of 18 goals and 28 assists for 46 points and 46 PIM through 141 games played as a Bobcat from 2010-11 to 2012-13. In 31 games played midway through the 2012-13 season, Knight is only one point away from surpassing last season's point totals; 19 points in a full 60 games played. Known for his toughness and work ethic, Knight has a reputation as one of the best shut down players in the league, and is often matched up against other teams' top lines in key situations. Knight is also the only current Bobcat to play for the team prior to the 2011-2012 season. His leadership qualities on the ice and in the dressing room were enough for head coach Ryan Parent to name Knight as the team's captain for the 2012-2013 campaign.

Two 18 year old Lloydminster products look to be key pieces of the Bobcats future over the next three years. Defenceman Linden Springer came up through the Lloydminster Minor Hockey system before heading to the Prince George Cougars of the WHL in 2011-12. Springer completed one full season with the Cougars, registering 3 goals and 6 assists for 9 points and 89 PIM in 56 games, prior to returning home to play Junior A for his hometown Bobcats. So far through 25 games played with the Bobcats in 2012-13, Springer has registered 3 goals and 3 assists for 6 points and 107 PIM. Forward Kolten Anderson also played his minor hockey in Lloydminster, playing for the Baker Hughes Midget AAA Bobcats for three seasons before joining the Bobcats in 2012-13. In 30 games with the Jr. A Bobcats this season, Anderson has scored 2 goals and 4 assists for 6 points and 14 PIM in 30 games played. Both Springer and Anderson have been important pieces on the team's penalty kill unit, which sits 9th in the league at 81.15%.

Defenceman Jordyn Wozniak is currently in his second season with the Bobcats and is originally from Elk Point, Alberta. Like Anderson, Wozniak played three full season with the Baker Hughes Midget AAA Bobcats prior to playing Junior A.While Wozniak has been in and out of the Bobcats line-up this season with recurring injury problems, the 19 year old defenceman has still managed to register 7 assists and 24 PIM in 21 games played in 2012-13. Last year, in his first season with the Bobcats, Wozniak picked up a goal and 2 assists for 3 points and 43 PIM in 37 games played.

19 year old forward Austin McDonald joined the team at the beginning of the 2012-13 season. Technically an out-of-province import player, McDonald grew up just 80 kilometers East of Lloydminster in the small town of Turtleford, Saskatchewan. McDonald came from the Bobcats in a trade with the Swan Valley Stampeders of the MJHL, who acquired McDonald's rights at the end of the 2011-12 season from the Kindersley Klippers of the SJHL. In 53 games played for the Klippers last season, McDonald picked up 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 goals and 26 PIM. So far in 2012-13 with the Bobcats, McDonald has registered 7 goals and 12 assists for 19 points and 19 PIM through 28 games. Always a threat in the offensive zone, The quick forward has been a key piece in the Bobcats' top 6 since coming to Lloydminster.

Braden Crone, a native of Metiskow, Alberta, played his midget hockey career in Lloydminster with the Baker Hughes AAA Bobcats in 2008-09 and 2009-10. The 19 year old forward went on to play two season with the Grande Prairie Storm, where he had 25 goals and 13 assists for 38 points and 139 PIM in 109 games played. Crone was acquired by the Bobcats from the Storm near the beginning of the 2012-13 season, and has colleted 5 goals and 4 assists for 9 points and 15 PIM through 24 games with the Bobcats.

The Bobcats have also played 7 affiliated players from the Lakeland region, and have 1 local player (Brandon Baddock of Vermilion, AB) on their roster who currently plays in the WHL. Local NEAJBHL affiliates Ryley Wozniak (St. Paul) and Lukas Biensch (Wainwright), and Baker Hughes Midget AAA affiliates Austin Hunter, Steen Pasichnuk, Bobby McMann, Cade Spencer, and Stefan Freter are all currently on the team's reserve roster.

Pictured right: Lloydminster native Linden Springer, who played the 2011-12 season in the WHL with the Prince George Cougars, fist bumps a fan on his way to the ice.