There’s No Time Like Overtime
By Shane Tomayer
The Bobcats would play their second straight home game Saturday night with the bitter memory of a Wednesday night loss still very fresh in their minds. The Cats lost to the Saints Wednesday evening after what will be described as a highly unfortunate third period. The score sheet would show the Cats being outshot 60-27 and outscored 7-1. A game where coach Nigel Dube said that they simply gave away too many second and third chances, while not getting enough of the same themselves. The Cats would commit practice Thursday and Friday to reversing that. Saturday would determine whether or not sufficient corrections had been made to get back into the win column and see some payback after a loss in Calgary last weekend.
Coming into Saturday evening’s match up against the Canucks three players (Stewart, Swanson and Aucoin) were tied for the team lead in goals with 5. The Cats would need maybe one of those 3 to step up, take the lead and guide the way to victory.
The first period showed clearly the Cats had spent some time on offensive work.
Midway through period one they would find themselves trailing by a pair of goals. Calgary had opened the scoring just shy of the 13 minute mark. Then they would extend to 2-0 less than a minute later. It goes without saying but resiliency would be key at a juncture such as this. Down by a pair things could really go one of two ways and 9 seconds after the second goal Mack Stewart would determine the path pouncing on a puck in the slot for his (now team leading) 6th of the season. 5 minutes later Swanson from the high slot would let go of a hard wrist shot to tie the game – and tie Stewart for the team lead at 6. After 20 the game would sit tied at 2 but the Cats were dominating the shot clock at 24-9.
The shooting gallery would continue in the middle frame (16-9 Cats) and on the powerplay Ethan Aucoin would not be outdone and scored from a very similar location to Swanson – off a feed from Stewart, tying him again for the team lead.
Period three you could see some desperation from the Canucks in a somewhat tighter period. 12:25 into the frame on a (somewhat questionable) 5 on 3 powerplay the Canucks would make it a 3-3 hockey game with a Justin Barker blast passed a screened Kolby Thornton. The home side would kill the balance of the powerplay and chances would be exchanged through the remainder of regulation, which wouldn’t be enough to decide the game.
After regulation time the Cats had outshot the Canucks 55-29. A stark contrast to their last game against the Saints. Dube talked pre-game about the Bobcats needing to create more opportunities. While that goal had clearly been reached it would not be a true success without a win. Just under a minute and a half into overtime Rawji and Aucoin would pass back and forth in their own end before Aucoin would lead the rush up the left side. With each line crossed through neutral and into the ‘Nucks zone Aucoin seemed to gain speed. He cut from wide left in front one on one with the defender and was able to slide one past Ty Young to put a pin in the evening and spark celebrations arena wide. The overtime winner would also push Aucoin back past Swanson and Stewart for sole possession of the team lead in goals (7).
5 times the Bobcats have gone into extra time this season, 5 times the Cats have come away with both points. With 3 decided in the extra period and 2 during a shootout. The Bobcats coaching staff was certainly pleased with the efforts of the border city club, though cautious to get too high off the win with less than 14 hours between the end of this match and their Sunday matinee against the Canmore Eagles.
Coach Dube on the win, “The boys learnt from Wednesday night and brought a strong effort in tonight’s win. I thought they understand the areas we needed to put more detail in which would allow us to create more offense, they did that tonight.” On the overtime successes so far this season, “It is really fun hockey when it gets into overtime and an opportunity to be really creative, as a group we also understand some nights are going to take a 60 plus effort to get the job done.”
Sunday afternoon the Bobcats are right back to it with a matinee against the Canmore Eagles.They ask that you bring warm winter gear to donate to both the Lloyd Catholic and Lloyd Public school divisions. Also kids 12 and under in costume get in for free and the first 100 will receive free popcorn.
As a reminder the Sticks N Sirens gala on November 13th is nearly sold out with only a handful of tables remaining. Get your tickets soon so you don’t miss out on a fun evening with dueling pianos in support of the Lloydminster Rescue squad and the Lloydminster Bobcats. Details are on our web-site.