Bobcats tie game late, lose in shootout

The Bobcats came to play on Wednesday night against the Spruce Grove Saints and found themselves in familiar territory despite being on the road. For the fourth time in their last five games the ‘Cats ended up in overtime but this time couldn’t get the job done in the extra period eventually losing in a shootout, final score 3-2.

After a successful home stand the Bobcats hit the road for one game to take on the Spruce Grove Saints. Coming into the game both teams were on extended winning streaks, the ‘Cats on a 4 game winning streak, while Spruce Grove was coming in on a 8 game winning streak leading them to a 12-4-1 record, 2nd place in the North Division. A fifth win in a row for the Bobcats would be their longest winning streak since 2011.

The Spruce Grove Saints got off to a good start thanks to a Dylan Hollman powerplay goal putting the Saints ahead 1-0. But not long after, exactly 2:19 later, Nolan Yaremchuk would snipe home his 7th goal of the season for the Bobcats, tying the game up at 1-1, assists from Austin Yaremchuk and Lukas Biensch. After 20 minutes the North Division rivals were even.

Although the Bobcats outshot Spruce Grove 9-7 in the 2nd period, it would be the Saints getting the only goal in the period. Austin Hunter capitalized on an opportunity to give the home team the lead. Spruce Grove up 2-1 with 20 minutes left to play.

The Bobcats continued to pressure Spruce Grove’s defense and were finally rewarded with an Eric Therrien goal with only 2:10 left in the game, helpers from Spencer Johnstone and Grant Baker. After outshooting Spruce Grove 14-3 in the third period, the Bobcats deservingly gained at least a point at the Grant Fuhr Arena.

Overtime solved nothing, so this one went into uncharted territory for the Bobcats, their first shootout of the season. The ‘Cats sent out Troy Rapuano, Cole Porter, Tanner Dunkle, and Braden Crone but were all brushed aside by the Saints Kenny Cameron. Bobcats Devin Green held his own through 3 Saints shooters but could not fend off the 4th shooter in Caleb Belter as Spruce Grove won it in a shootout 1-0, 3-2 final score.

Bobcats earn a valuable point, though the 4 game winning streak is snapped, they have earned a point in 5 straight games.

Coach/GM Garry VanHereweghe says it was a well played game by both teams, “Spruce Grove is a very disciplined team that plays very well within their structure. Tonight we found a way to break down their defensive zone as the game progressed to the point of outshooting the Saints 19 – 7 in the 3rd period combined with overtime. I was also impressed with the physical style the team displayed throughout the entire game. I was proud of the effort and desire displayed from start to finish in this hard fought battle. Devin Green was very solid tonight and gave us a chance to win once again,” Garry said.

The Bobcats return home after the game as they prepare for a pair of games against the Grande Prairie Storm at the Centennial Civic Centre on Friday, October 25th and Saturday, October 26th as they look to get back into the winning column.