A second period outburst proved to be just enough for the Lloydminster Bobcats as they hung on late to take down the Whitecourt Wolverines Saturday night.
Hosting the Wolverines for the third and final time this season, the Bobcats carried a 4-0 lead after two before surviving a furious Whitecourt comeback in a 5-3 victory.
The Cats got on the board first late in the first period when Connor Odelein deflected an Evan Wood shot to himself and then slid the puck past a sprawling Xavier Potvin.
In the middle frame, the Bobcats used a pair of power-play goals as they began to create some breathing room.
First it was Kobe Walker. The Bobcats leading scorer found a loose puck below the Wolverine’s goal-line, quickly brought it out front a flicked a back-hand shot over Potvin to increase the lead to 2-0.
Then, eleven minutes later, it was the Bobcat’s captain getting back in on the action. Much like his first goal, Odelein parked himself in front of the Whitecourt goal, found the puck at the top of the crease and slid it into the net for his second of the night.
With under four minutes to play in the second period, Tucker Scantlebury sent in, what appeared to be a harmless shot from the blue-line, however the puck got by Potvin and into the back of the net to give Lloydminster a 4-0 advantage.
However, the Wolverines had no plans of rolling over in final frame.
Whitecourt netted three unanswered goals to trim the Bobcats lead to 4-3, but with the Wolverines net empty in the final minutes, Scantlebury chased down a puck, slid it across the ice to Walker, who calmly sent it into the empty cage to seal a 5-3 win.
With the victory the Bobcats have secured their place in the AJHL playoffs, and also moved into a tied with Sherwood Park for fifth place in the North Division.
Bobcat’s goalie Bailey Brkin made 47 saves on 50 shots, while Potvin stopped 25 of the 29 shots sent his way.
The Cats finished the game 2 for 4 on the man-advantage, with the Wolverines going 0 for 3 on the power-play.
Next up for Lloydminster is a return visit to Whitecourt on Friday.