Last Weeks Bralin Technology Goals:
Cats fall hard after a tough 3rd period.
By Shane Tomayer
The Bobcats came in to the Civic Centre on Wednesday night two games off of 500 facing a team that while the Saints were tied atop the AJHL North division are also a team the Cats have beaten earlier in the season. Without question it would be a tough contest for the home side, but there was hope the Cats could once again defeat the perennial North division stalwart.
Spruce opened the scoring in the first with a puck off the end wall coming straight to the Saints leading scorer and he was able to let go a shot that got passed a screened Axel Rosenlund. 15 minutes later Mason Franz in tight on the Spruce net sent the puck back to Nik Hooogendoorn in the low slot who made no mistake in tying the game. Shots in the period were slightly lopsided but the score was even and that is truly what matters.
After 40 things were still close. The Saints had gained a goal advantage on a powerplay but the Cats were still very much in the hunt for their 7th win of the season. Penalties started to mount for the home team in the second giving up 3 advantages to Spruce Grove. Still this could have been their best period of the game.
In the third period the Saints elevated their game and maybe put the Bobcats squad onto their heals. The Cats also provided another 2 man advantages to the visitors both of which they were able to shut down. Regardless playing shorthanded 6 times against any team will drain the tank and it seemed to have an impact. Through 6 minutes in the middle of the final frame the Saints would strike 4 more times making the comeback impossible. Late pushes from the home side would not be enough to turn the tide and the Saints would leave with a 6-1 victory to take sole possession of the North Division lead.
Coach Nigel Dube was less than pleased with play on both sides of the rink. “I thought we started to give up too many second and third opportunities. We were coming up on the wrong side of our battles. On the flip side I thought we didn’t do enough offensively to give ourselves those second and third opportunities to score”. An assessment that was bang on. Multiple times the Cats had the puck in the offensive zone with a chance to create, or simply get pucks on net but would come away without a scoring chance. Too many shots were stopped before finding their way to the Spruce Grove net. Late in the 3rd Kolton Shindle did have a puck through the goaltender laying on the goal line but with no secondary support at the crease the Saints were easily able to clear.
The Bobcats will put some time into offense and getting pucks on net during Thursday and Friday practices before they look for redemption Saturday against the Calgary Canucks – who they lost to last weekend. Saturdays puck drop is 7:30 with a follow up against the Canmore Eagles Sunday at 2:00. 12 and under receive free admission Sunday when in costume and the first 100 youth will get free popcorn.
When you come to the rink for this weekends game please consider donating warm winter gear to support the Lloydminster public/catholic school divisions. Also don’t forget to pick up your tickets for the Sticks and Sirens gala coming up on November 13th, which promises to be an entertaining evening with dueling pianos by Court Jester.