Close but not quite close enough was a common theme Friday night for the Lloydminster Bobcats when they played host to the Whitecourt Wolverines.
Hosting their Viterra North-division rival for the third and final time this season, the Cats dropped a 3-1 decision.
In a contest that saw the debuts of three new players acquired by Lloydminster in Justin Vertesy, Andrew Smiley, and local-product Chase Anderson, the Bobcats played with energy throughout the night but found themselves on the wrong side of the inch.
The Wolverines were first to get on the board 6:49 into the first period when Cole Carrier one-timed a shot past Vertesy.
Despite numerous chances during the rest of the opening frame, as well as the second period, the game remained a 1-0 score after two periods.
In the third the Wolverines quickly doubled their lead when Brayden Labant fired home a shot on a 2-on-1.
However, it did not take long for the Bobcats to respond.
Just 25 seconds later, Cat’s rookie Jordan Borysiuk scored his fifth goal of the season when he worked a back-hand shot past Whitecourt goalie Tye Morin.
Unfortunately for the Bobcats they were unable to find the equalizer and Carrier put home an empty-net goal with just two seconds left in the contest to seal the Wolverine win.
Ringing the post three times, the Cats had their chances but couldn't quite capitalize.
The Wolverines outshot Lloydminster 34-26 in the game.
Both teams went 0 for 3 in the game with the man-advantage.
The Bobcats will now turn their attention to the Calgary Mustangs who will pay a visit to Lloydminster on Saturday night.