Bralin Technology Recap
By Shane Tomayer
The Bobcats schedule for the month of November started strong at 3-0-1 then took a turn ending the month 4-5-1. Wanting to replicate the start seen in November this weeks practices and player meetings focussed on buy-in and complete 60 minute games.
December started off against the (at puck drop) 5th place Sherwood Park Crusaders who sat 5 points ahead of the 6th place Bobcats.
The two squads had faced off only one other time this season, in game 3 of the campaign. The Cats had 4 different scorers that night and came away with their 3rd straight win to start the season.
Fridays match up showed the message sent through out the week was received and understood. The Crusaders opened the scoring but the home side didn’t back down. Wasting next to no time Brock Krulicki would score just 22 seconds later pouncing on a Bygrove rebound.
The Crusaders would add one more before the end of the first period and then a 4th five minutes into the second period. With just under 6 minutes left in the middle frame the Cats would head to their second Synergy Credit Union power play of the night and spent no time settling in before Krulicki jumped on another Bygrove rebound for his second of the night and 9th on the season.
Unfortunately the two Krulicki goals would not be enough. With one man already in the penalty box the visitors took a boarding call with 3:06 remaining in regulation. Coach Dube took a chance and pulled Halyk for a rather rare 6 on 3 power play. It seemed to be the right move. The Bobcats dominated possession to close out the game but simply couldn’t get a goal past a very hot goalie, and the Crusaders would ultimately add an empty net goal.
That possession wasn’t just the tale of the final 3 minutes. The Bobcats seemed to dictate the pace for most of the game, firing 42 shots on thr Crusaders goalie. Dube was happy with the teams response, just not the result “It was one of our most honest efforts in awhile through 60 minutes of play. A tough one when it doesn’t get the results you want when the buzzer goes.”
Another bright spot on the evening was the play of 20 year old Brock Krulicki. With injury and illness continuing to play havoc with the Cats roster Krulicki was tried at centre. Simply put he looked great down the middle. Was very effective at face offs and obviously produced offensively as the lone goal scorer for the orange and black. Dube was asked about the veteran forwards performance as of late. “Kru took a bit to figure out the league and what we look to play as a team. Once he sorted those out he has bought into how we want to play and he’s seeing the success of it”.
Next action for the Bobcats will come Sunday with a Lakeland matinee in Bonnyville. They return home Tuesday December 6th when they’ll host the top team in the AJHL North division, the Spruce Grove Saints.