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Bobcats Battle Past Bonnyville; Move Three Points Clear of Rival Yaks

If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it!

The Lloydminster Bobcats skated to their fourth straight win Saturday night in Bonnyville, using a similar recipe that led them to the first three wins of the streak.

The Cats used strong goaltending, a power-play goal and an empty-netter to help secure a 3-1 win over the Yaks. The win over Bonnyville also put an end to Lloydminster four game losing streak to their rival.

Throughout the night, special teams played a major factor.

The Bobcats, who finished the month of January with a penalty kill operating north of 92%, not only continued to kill penalties well Saturday night, they also managed to score while short a man.

With Bonnyville trying to clear their zone while on the power-play, Bobcat’s forward Zach Kaiser forced a turnover just inside the Pontiacs blue-line. Rylan Nivon found the loose puck, drove towards the net and snapped a shot through the five-hole of Justin Travis to give Lloydminster a 1-0 lead.

The score remained that way into the second period where the home team would get on the board.

Nearing the midway point of the second frame, Olsen Werenka received a pass from Joel Ray, took a few strides in from the blue-line and beat Bailey Brkin with a low wrist-shot.

Tied 1-1 after 40 minutes of play, everything was going to boil down to the third.

Just seven seconds into the period, Adam Sandstrom took a penalty, giving Lloydminster their fifth power-play of the night.

Entering the game, Lloydminster had scored a power-play goal in four straight games, while Bonnyville had surrendered a power-play goal in five straight games. Both those streaks would continue.

Just over a minute into the period, Connor Odelein fed a pinching Daniel Hilsendager who one-timed a feed from the Bobcat’s captain, sending the pack right past Travis to give Lloydminster a 2-1 lead.

Despite lots of pressure from the Yaks, Brkin stood his ground before Tucker Scantlebury found an empty net in the final minute to secure a 3-1 Cats win.

For Bobcat’s goalie, Bailey Brkin, making his third career start with Lloydminster, Brkin once again allowed just one goal en route to another victory. Brkin now sits 3-0 with a 1.00 GAA and a .971 Save%.

Although they were able to pick up the two points over Bonnyville to move three points clear of the Pontiacs for sixth in the North, the Yaks did out-shoot the Bobcats 36-19 in the contest.

The Bobcats finished the game 1 for 5 on the power-play, while the Pontiacs went 0 for 4.

Next up for Lloydminster is a trip to Drayton Valley on Wednesday for their final meeting of the season with the Thunder.