Despite a strong effort, the Lloydminster Bobcats came up empty Friday night in search of the first win of the young 2018/19 AJHL season.
The Cats dropped their third straight game to begin the new campaign with a 4-3 loss to the Fort McMurray Oil Barons at the Civic Centre.
In what was a tightly contested, back and forth affair, it was a Lloydminster product who put the final nail in the coffin for him hometown Junior ‘A’ squad.
Just shy of the midway point of the third period, Lloydminster’s own Braydon Koch scored his first career Junior ‘A’ goal, to give The MOB a 4-3 lead they would not relinquish.
The visitors were first to get on the board in the contest, when Reed Morison put home a first period goal. However, with under a minute to play in the opening frame, Rylan Nivon, playing his first game of the season, put the Cats back on even ground heading into the intermission.
Then in the second period, Nivon netter his second of the game on a beautiful solo effort to give Lloydminster a 2-1 advantage.
Unfortunately for the Cats, the lead was short-lived. Not even a minute later, Morison put home his second of the game to tie it 2-2.
The Barons then took the look on a Sean McCloskey power-play goal in the later stages of the middle frame.
Trailing 3-2 in the third, Zach Kaiser set up Reid Irwin for his first goal of the season just over five minutes into the frame.
It was just three minutes after Irwin’s goal, when Koch scored the game winning goal.
The Oil Barons went on to outshoot the Cats 29-21 in the contest, as Bobcat’s rookie goalie made 25 saves in his AJHL debut.
On the power-play, Lloydminster went 0-3, while Fort McMurray finished 1-4.
The two teams will meet again Saturday night, once again at the Civic Centre. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30.