Bobcats fall to the Wolverines in their own den.
By Shane Tomayer
Friday night continued what has been a long streak of games. Back home after a key road win Wednesday night in Whitecourt seemed like a recipe for potential success.
Sometimes however a slight error in measurement means a recipe goes sideways and a pinch too much or not enough of one ingredient means you’re headed to the Canadian Brewhouse for take out. In this case the Cats tried making a decisive win and pulled a 4-0 loss out of the oven. We’ll start with the tempura cauliflower and an order of face-off fried pickles please.
Friday the Bobcats miscalculated the level of energy that would be required to win two in a row against a hungry Wolverines squad. Nigel Dube spoke on the intensity of the Bobcats. “I thought we had some pop to start the game, but our puck managment slipped and lead to us chasing the game.”
The Friday night loss was game 2 of a 4 game stretch against the Wolverines. A series with real playoff implications. Dube commented on the loss “we didn’t have a great one Wednesday but found a way to win. Tonight we didn’t elevate our game and they came into our barn and wanted that one back.”
The game was not without bright spots. The penalty kill was perfect stopping all 5 Wolverine power play chances. Special teams have been significantly better since November. Against the Wolverines over the last two games the Bobcats have been near perfect while shorthanded stopping 7 of 8 Wolverine power plays.
Another bright spot has been the play of late of Cats rookie Connor Burke. Burke while yet to score this season has contributed in a number of other ways. His outlook and his consistent effort have not gone unnoticed. Dube described the play of the young forward, “Burke brings his work boots every day, he’s always working and putting his best effort into every shift. He’s a heart and soul guy that gave us momentum especially when he worked pucks in the offensive zone.” For a guy who has watched a lot of Bobcats hockey over the last couple decades I think there are certainly comparisons to be made to the likes of current Bobcat Jayven Leslie or Kory Chisholm. Both players who may have started things slowly but developed into fantastic Bobcat forwards. Leslie’s story is still being written with a bright future. Chisholm went on to play for ASU. High praise I would suggest.
The Bobcats will look to bounce back Saturday night for game 3 of the 4 game set. Puck drop at the civic is slated for 7:30.