With both teams missing numerous key pieces heading into a Saturday night showdown at the Civic Centre, the Lloydminster Bobcats took advantage of a short-handed Okotoks Oilers squad to end a three game losing streak.
With the likes of Daniel Hilsendager, Tyler Lowe, Braydon Jenkins and Carson Franklin our of the line-up for the Cats, and Dylan Holloway, Austin Wong, Blake Wells, Jacob Bernard-Docker, Kylor Wall and Reece Soukoroff missing for the Oilers, the Bobcats came away with a 2-0 victory over the AJHL’s best team.
The Bobcats also elected to start Pierce Diamond in goal, who was spectacular throughout the game.
The Edmonton product, finished the game with a 24 save shut-out, making numerous crucial saves throughout the contest.
After a scoreless opening frame, Cole Johnson got the home side on the board in the second.
Kobe Walker moved the puck to Zach Kaiser, who fired a shot on goal, which Johnson tipped home for his 8th goal of the season and a 1-0 Bobcats lead.
The Cats would hold the lead heading into the final frame.
The Oilers appeared to have tied the game at one point, but a point-shot, which found its way into the back of the Bobcat’s net, was immediately waved off after a crease violation was called.
From that point on Lloydminster did their best to seal the deal, which is exactly what they did.
Just three seconds into a 5-on-3 power-play, Lloydminster’s own Kobe Walker found a loose puck off an offensive zone face-off, drove towards the slot and beat Oiler’s goalie Ben Howard five-hole to double the lead to 2-0.
That score would hold up in the end as the final despite some late physical altercations that took place between the two teams.
With the win the Bobcats improved to 10-18-2 and pulled within four points of 5th place in the North Division, while the Oilers fell to 24-4-1.
The Bobcats outshot Okotoks 25-24 in the game.
Lloydminster finished 1 for 6 on the power-play, while the Oilers went 0 for 3.
Next up for the Bobcats will be a trip to Fort McMurray on Thursday to battle the Oil Barons.