A new season has arrived, and the Lloydminster Bobcats (0-0-0) will face a stiff challenge right from the start. The Bobcats will head west to battle the defending AJHL champion Spruce Grove Saints (0-0-0) at the Grant Fuhr Arena. Last season, these two opponents played each other tough all throughout the year. Despite the Saints taking five of the six games in last year’s season series, four of those games were decided by two goals or less. Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m. at the Grant Fuhr Arena. Tonight, will be the first of two meetings in as many days between Spruce Grove and Lloydminster, as the scene switches to the Civic Centre tomorrow night. Tonight’s contest can be heard starting at 6:45 with Lloydminster Bobcats Hockey on Real Country 95.9.
Heading In: Bobcats Look For Fast Start Against Defending Champs
On a night that will see the Spruce Grove Saints hang their 2017/18 AJHL Championship banner, the Lloydminster Bobcats can expect quite the atmosphere to be waving through the Grant Fuhr Arena Friday night. The Saints, who are always a strong opponent, will serve as an instant measuring stick for the Cats in game #1. Should Lloydminster leave Spruce Grove Friday night with a win, one would have to think a quick start to silence a raucous crowd will be necessary.
Head to Head
Game one of the season for both teams, means there is zero history between the two this year. Going back to last season, the Saints won five of the six match-ups between the two teams, despite Lloydminster being able to hold Spruce Grove’s high powered offence to three goals or less in four of those games.
Bobcats Bolster Blue-Line with Bonnyville Trades
Looking to build their defensive core, the Cats didn’t look very far done the road for some reinforcements. Lloydminster swung a pair of offseason trades with the rival ‘Yaks to acquire 2000-born defenceman Ryley Hogan, as well as 1999-born defenceman Bekkham Willis. Both players registered double digit points last season in their first year with the Pontiacs. Willis tallied three goals and ten assists in 49 regular season games, while Hogan posted two goals and nine assists in 43 regular season contests. Hogan and Willis add to what appears to be a strong point on the Bobcat’s team, as they join the likes of Reid Irwin, Zach Ziegler and highly touted recruit Mason Waite.
Spruce Grove @ Bobcats – Saturday September 15, 7:30 p.m. – Centennial Civic Centre
Fort McMurray @ Bobcats – Friday September 21, 7:30 p.m. – Centennial Civic Centre
Fort McMurray @ Bobcats – Saturday September 22, 7:30 p.m. – Centennial Civic Centre