Bobcats unable to gain first points of new year, lose 4-1 vs. Oil Barons

The Bobcats came out with a valiant effort tonight but were unable to gain their first points of 2014 as they fell to the Fort McMurray Oil Barons 4-1 tonight.

The Bobcats were looking to redeem themselves against the Oil Barons after a 5-0 loss to Fort McMurray the previous night. The 19-17-4 Bobcats were in third place in the North Division standings, now having the Sherwood Park Crusaders knocking on their door just two points behind them in fourth place. While the Oil Barons remain in a battle with Spruce Grove for first in the North and the league with 65 points to Spruce Grove’s 66.

Fort McMurray would get on the board first, on the power-play, Danton Ayotte would wrist one in to make it 1-0. That’s the way the first 20 minutes would end, Bobcats coming out much stronger tonight and leading on the shot chart 11-8.

Bobcats would finally get on the board in the second period, as a mad scramble ensued in front of the Oil Barons net, Eric Therrien capitalized with assists from Tanner Dunkle and Braden Crone. But the Oil Barons would take back the lead, Kevin Miller off a deflection made it 2-1 Fort McMurray. After 40 minutes it stood 2-1, Bobcats winning the shots battle 13-10.

Fort McMurray’s Adam Durkee would add another one on the power-play to make it 3-1. Oil Barons’ Luc Lalor would add one more, Bobcats fought hard and gave a much more positive effort tonight but fall 4-1.

It's a crucial time for team's to collect points, “although we were a much improved team and had better effort throughout the game we once again came away with no points. Teams behind us are finding ways to win and we must get this turned around and stay in the mix. This time of the year is all about survival and we need to get on board,” Coach/GM Garry VanHereweghe said after the game.

Bobcats go to 19-18-4 on the year, next up they visit the Drayton Valley Thunder on January 7th.