Although the Bobcats would score six goals tonight, the Thunder would better that total by one goal, as the Bobcats got edged 7-6 in Drayton Valley tonight.
Bobcats headed west on Tuesday to take on the Thunder in Drayton Valley looking for their first victory of 2014. The 19-18-4 Bobcats were sitting in their usual third place spot in the North Division standings, but now having company with both the Sherwood Park Crusaders and Whitecourt Wolverines only 2 points back. While the Drayton Valley were sitting in the bottom of the North Division standings with a record of 14-22-4 on the season. The last time these two met was exactly one month ago on December 7th where the Thunder stole a victory in a shoot-out in front of the Bobcats home crowd, final score was 5-4 SO.
Drayton Valley would strike first, on the power-play, Dallen Hall would wrist one past Sean Kuehn to make it 1-0. Not long after, Drayton Valley back on the power-play where Dallen Hall would collect his second on the night, 2-0. Before the period would end, the Bobcats would get within one, this time on a power-play of their own. Tyler Kunz would let one rip, just enough to get through Thunder’s Marc Olivier Daigle, Braden Crone with the helper. 2-1 Drayton Valley after 20 minutes, with all 3 goals coming on the power-play, shots 12-10 in favour of the Bobcats.
Thunder would take a 3-1 lead, off a breakaway goal from Trever Poirier but the ‘Cats would claw back. Troy Rapuano would force one home off a Drayton Valley turnover to make it 3-2, assist from Nolan Yaremchuk. Then Rapuano would strike again, this time capitalizing on a juicy rebound off of Daigle to tie things up at 3-3, helpers from Austin Yaremchuk and Nolan Yaremchuk. Captain Grant Baker would deliver by snapping one home to give the Bobcats their first lead of the game, but it would be short lived as Thunder’s Tanner Clarkson would tie things up at 4-4 thirty seconds later. Before the second period came to a close Trevor Poirier would break loose again, on a breakaway to make it 5-4. Total of 6 goals scored in the second period, with shots favouring the Bobcats 14-8.
Bobcats would find themselves on the power-play early on in the third period where Taylor Mulder would capitalize, assists coming in from Grant Baker and Braden Crone, we were all tied up at 5-5. Although Drayton Valley’s Dylan Bredahl would force one through Devin Green to take back the lead for the Thunder, making it 6-5 with 10 minutes to go. Then the Thunder would quickly break into Bobcats territory where Trevor Poirier would get his third on the night to give Drayton Valley a 7-5 lead. With a minute to go, Tanner Dunkle made no mistake as the puck landed on his stick, now 7-6 Thunder with 1:05 to go. That’s as close as the Bobcats would get on this night as they go down 7-6 final score.
This game was one of those where the team to manage the last shot on goal may well be the winner said GM/Coach Garry VanHereweghe, there were positives and negatives to take from tonight, “although we showed a much improved offensive output in scoring 6 goals; the disapointing factor is we still came out with no points and once again did not move forward in the standings. Right now we are finding ways to lose games and need to take more responsibility as a team to right the ship before it is too late.”
With Sherwood Park and Whitecourt not playing tonight, the Bobcats remain 2 points ahead of those two teams for third place in the North Division standings and go to 19-19-4 on the year after this game. Braden Crone had a four assist night while Nolan Yaremchuk, Tanner Dunkle, Troy Rapuano and Grant Baker all had 2 point nights. Sean Kuehn would start the game, however Devin Green would come on in relief in the third period. The total shots were 40-27 in favour of the Bobcats.
Next up the Bobcats return home where they take on the Olds Grizzlys on Friday night at the Civic Centre at 7:30 PM. Please bring a non-perishable food item as we’ll be filling the team bus full of food that will be donated to The Olive Tree in Lloydminster.