Facing an experienced Whitecourt Wolverines lineup, the Lloydminster Bobcats suffered a 5-2 loss at the Civic Centre Monday night, bringing the exhibition record to 1-2.
After playing the first two pre-season games against primarily rookies in a two-game set with the Bonnyville Pontiacs, the young Bobcats saw a different look against a Whitecourt team that will be one of the most experienced teams in the Alberta Junior Hockey League this season.
It was the home team striking first as Colby Wolter scored his third goal of the preseason just past the midway point of the first period, with the assist going to Dawson Bacon. The Wolverines struck back quickly as Eric Krienke lit the lamp just 0:31 later to draw the game even at 1-1. Former Bobcat Morgan Messenger added another marker before the period was over, giving Whitecourt a 2-1 lead after the first period of play.
The Wolverines kept it up in the second with another former Bobcat, Nick Quillan, beating Matteo Esposito with a quick wrist shot to make it 3-1, then Krienke scored his second of the night to push the lead to 4-1.
The Bobcats responded minutes later on a 5-on-3 man advantage as Kobe Walker converted a feed from Nolan Carothers to bring the score to 4-2.
That was as close as the Cats would get, with Whitecourt adding an insurance marker in the third period courtesy of Mitch Lipon, with the assists going to Cody Laskosky and Dawson Bruneski.
Esposito started the game for the Bobcats, and found himself very busy as he faced 31 shots in approximately 30 minutes of playing time, allowing four goals. Jacob Bennett took over for the second half, and saw a lighter workload with 19 shots on goal, and one goal allowed.
Aaron Mackay played the entire game for the Wolverines, allowing two goals on 21 shots.
The next action for the Bobcats is Thursday night as the Drumheller Dragons come to the Civic Centre for an exhibition showdown. Puck drop is set for 7:30 PM.