Fort McMurray Oil Barons vs Lloydminster Bobcats Saturday Oct. 26th, 2019
Written by: Tyler Campbell
3rd period, game tied 1-1, 4:25 remaining. The Bobcats were playing one of their best periods of the season to this point. The Cats had just iced the puck and there would be a face-off to the right of netminder Josh Dias. It seemed as though that finally the Cats hard work was going to be rewarded…
There wasn’t a lot going on for the first 39 minutes of the hockey game, though Josh Dias was playing a very solid game against his former teammates from Fort McMurray. But in the last minute of the 2nd, Michael Hodge took over as he released a bullet from the slot that beat Dias, and the Oil Barons went to the dressing room with a 1-0 lead after 40 minutes of play.
Entering the 3rd it felt like déjà vu as it was a situation the Cats had been in several times at home this season. They were in the game, but which team would we see? We saw them at their best on Saturday night in the 3rd as they really took the play to the Oil Barons, playing very aggressively which was causing a lot of turnovers both in the offensive zone and the neutral zone, and the good play got the Cats on even grounds as Brendan Morrow made a heads up touch pass which sent Chance Adrian in on a 2 on 1 and he made no mistake beating Oil Barons netminder Evan Fradette to tie the game at 1. And the Cats kept coming. They had the momentum for the next 11 minutes.
Then that icing happened, and that face-off happened. What happened next was a terrible bounce as Oil Barons defenceman Ty Ettinger threw a harmless looking puck towards the net that Josh Dias not only saw, but stopped. Unfortunately for both Dias and the Cats, the puck rolled up the blocker of Dias and into the net. It was a terrible bounce at the worst possible time, and naturally after a back breaker like that, the Bobcats couldn’t recover as the Oil Barons walked away with a 2-1 victory.
Despite the heart breaking result, head coach Nigel Dube was able to keep things in good perspective. “Compared to last night, I thought many facets of our game improved. But at the end of the day, still those little things are adding up to big things for us. But the work ethic and execution over 60 minutes was evident tonight.” I asked Dube about what he saw on the game winning goal and what do you tell Josh Dias after a puck goes in that he did everything right on, just caught a terrible break at a terrible time. “He’s done great things for us here keeping us in games. We have to do things to help him. We got to work, and fight, and battle, and make the play right before so that doesn’t happen. What it really comes down to is finding ways, whatever that may be, so that we’re having different conversations.”
There is no time to dwell on the result for the Cats as they go to Spruce Grove on Tuesday night to take on the 14-3-0 Saints. You can catch that game on Hockey TV, puck drop will be 7PM. Cats are next in action at the Centennial Civic Centre on Friday night as they take on the Drayton Valley Thunder. Puck drop for that one will be 7:30PM, and if you can’t make it to the rink that night then Shane Tomayer and myself will have the call on Hockey TV and on the MixLR app.
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