‘Cats Get Back In The Win Column

It took three goals in the final 13:33, but the Lloydminster Bobcats were able to force extra time and pick up a win on opening night of the AJHL Showcase in Camrose.

Down 3-1 nearing the midway point of the third period, Noah Bauld found a rebound in front of the net and sent the water bottle flying with his fifth goal of the year. However, the Kodiaks would strike right back with an answer only 0:50 seconds later as Angus Scott found the back of the net to regain a two goal lead for the AJHL South Division Leaders.

The Bobcats would remain down by two for the next four minutes, and it was looking more and more desperate until Zac Giroux found an opening and tucked a wrap-around goal inside the post to bring the score to 4-3 with 8:28 left in the game. Late in the game, the Bobcats were still trying to claw from behind as they pulled goaltender Pierce Diamond with just over a minute remaining.

Off of a faceoff, Kevin Darrar jumped on a loose puck inside the Kodiaks zone and found a seam towards the net where he stepped off the wall to the faceoff dot and ripped the tying goal over the shoulder of goaltender Patrick Gora.

Three-on-three overtime ensued, with the Bobcats carrying the play, putting seven shots on the Kodiaks goal, compared to only two at the other end. One of the two shots, however, was a breakaway opportunity with Diamond standing tall. Neither side was able to find an answer in overtime, so the game went to a shootout.

The first five shooters were stopped on each side before it reached the sixth round. Tanner Younghans was stoned by Pierce Diamond, leaving Troy Van Tetering with a chance to win it for the Bobcats, the fourth straight 'Cat with that opportunity. Van Tetering was able to open up the five hole of Gora and slide the puck in to seal a 5-4 win for Lloydminster.

Defenceman Nick Quillan got the 'Cats on the board 10:59 into the first with a one-timer on the powerplay. Early in the second, Cole McBride got the game even with a short-side shot between the legs of Diamond. Beginning the third tied 1-1, McBride notched two more goals in the first 6:02 to get a 3-1 lead before the Bobcats started to claw back.

Pierce Diamond, in his third straight start while Alex Leclerc serves his five game suspension, made 22 saves on 26 shots through four periods before stopping all six shooters in the shootout. Patrick Gora had 35 saves on 39 shots for the Kodiaks, with 5 shots on six shooters in the shootout.

Lloydminster is back in action tomorrow afternoon at the AJHL Showcase, taking on the Brooks Bandits at the Encana Arena at 3:30PM.