Bobcats snap skid in Drayton Valley

Chris Roberts/Courtesy of

The Lloydminster Bobcats halted a five-game losing streak on Saturday with a 4-0 win over the Drayton Valley Thunder.
Coming off of a 6-3 loss the night prior in which Chase Martin surrendered five goals on 22 shots, a healthy Devin Green got the nod on Saturday and recorded his second shutout of the season.

Interim head coach Kyle Tapp said that Green, who has won seven of his last eight decisions, has earned the net for the team’s final stretch of games.
“Devin’s earned it, down the stretch we’ll look at helping him get ready for next year, Chase may get another game or so in somewhere, but it’s based on performance at this point,” said Tapp.

And based on performance, all signs point to Green. Since coming to Lloydminster mid-season, Green has gone 9-3-1 with a 2.35 goals against average. Martin, meanwhile, in his final season with the team as a 20-year-old, has surrendered 33 goals in his last seven outings.
Tapp said that Green was able to start Friday, but the club wanted to keep him out an extra day as a precaution. He missed two weeks with a concussion.
“Devin’s (coming off) a concussion, so we figured back-to-back, we could give Devin one day of extra rest and make sure he’s 100 per cent healthy, he’s going to be the future goalie here, and especially dealing with the brain you don’t want to rush it.”

Grant Baker scored a goal and added two assists on Friday in the team’s 6-3 loss, a game Tapp said he was happier with than Saturday, ignoring the final result, of course.
“We dominated them from start to finish, I actually thought we played better Friday than Saturday.”

Tanner Dunkle and Austin McDonald also scored for the Bobcats, who outshot the Thunder 32-24.
The difference on Friday, Tapp said, was the same mental errors and breakdowns that had cost the team for much of the season.
“It’s just the same kind of stuff, we were all over them for eight minutes and we can’t score … and then make a mental mistake and they capitalize (and) we don’t get the saves.” Dunkle, McDonald and Baker scored again for the ‘Cats on Saturday, while Liam McNamara recorded his first as a Bobcat and Green made 25 saves.

Overall, Tapp has been pleased with the way his team has been playing since he took over in the New Year, but said their ability to close out games needs to improve.
“Outside of the 6-1 loss in Whitecourt I think we’ve outplayed every team (since the New Year), and we’re a last place team that’s lost a bunch of games, so instead of finding ways to win games we’re finding ways to lose games.”

The Bobcats were in Spruce Grove last night but results were unavailable as of press time. Last night’s game began a stretch of five games in nine days, which ends next Tuesday with the team’s final game of the regular season at home against the Saints.