The Lloydminster Bobcats have booked themselves a date with the Whitecourt Wolverines in the 2018 Inter Pipeline AJHL Playoffs.
The Bobcats solidified their spot as the 6th seed in the North Division Saturday night with a 4-3 win in Grand Prairie over the Storm.
In a back and forth affair, the Cats ultimately pulled ahead for good late in the third with Jacob Tibbatts second goal of the season.
After a scoreless opening frame, the flood gates began to open early in the second.
Having not scored in six straight games, Lloydminster’s own Kobe Walker found a loose puck in the crease and slid it past the Storm’s goalie Ethan Slobodzian.
However, the 29th goal of the season for the RIT commit did not give Lloydminster the lead for long.
Just 1:16 after Walker’s goal, Connor Blake came back the other way for GP to tie the game. The Storm then took their only lead of the game a little more than two minutes later when Walker Cote beat Bobcat’s goalie Bailey Brkin.
Trailing 2-1, the Cats responded with just over five minutes left in the frame off an offensive zone face-off. Carson Franklin won the draw back to Daniel Hilsendager. Hilsendager then fired a point-shot, which Franklin deflected home to tie the game 2-2.
Still tied after two periods of play, the Bobcats quickly jumped out in from in the third.
On the power-play, Hilsendager went coast-to-coast before beating a Grand Prairie defenceman and back-handing a shot over the shoulder of Slobodzian to give Lloyd a 3-2 lead.
Once again though, the Storm would respond. After receiving his AJHL Rookie of the Year award prior to the game, Zachary Okabe got a shot past Brkin to tie the game 3-3.
In the end, Tibbatts, after being stopped on a breakaway took a feed from Leyson Coleman out in front of the net and made no mistake on his second chance to put the Cats ahead for good.
The Storm went on to out-shoot the Bobcats 34-21.
Lloydminster finished 1 for 5 on the power-play, while Grand Prairie went 0 for 1.
Both Storm forwards Dallas Comeau and Connor Blake were ejected from the game for spearing and goaltender interference, respectively.
The Cats will wrap up their regular season schedule Sunday afternoon with another contest in Grand Prairie. Puck drop is at 2:00pm.
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