Okotoks slip by Cats on Sunday

The home side came out of the gate strong on Sunday afternoon for the second game of their family weekend.  After a successful Friday night against the South divisions top team nothing less would have been expected. 
The #2 team in the South would strike first in period one, pouncing on a rebound beside Dias.  The home side would answer that fairly quickly though on a play by Mack Stewart driving to the net and shoveling the puck passed the Okotoks net minder on his backhand. Play would run back and forth through the remainder of the first which ended abruptly at the 54 second mark.  Jordan Wood made a hard check just inside his defensive zone and in getting tied up with his former teammate Wood was cut by a skate.  Officials decided to finish the period at the start of the second to allow Wood to be attended to.  Follow our social media for updates to the condition of Wood in the coming days.  He did leave the arena under his own power but has since been transported to Saskatoon for further evaluation and treatment.
Understandably the home side came out with less jump to start the second frame with the Oilers making the most of it scoring three times in the middle period – twice with the man advantage.  Chad Maclean would answer once on a deflected Gunner Kinniburgh shot, but period two would end with the home side down by a pair.  Commenting on the second period Nigel Dube said, “We came out and a little bit of emotion between the first period ending when it did and transition to the second period.  We called an earlier timeout than most (16:30 remaining in period 2) just to kind of settle things down and it worked a bit and then we went right back to the penalty kill and that can change the tone of the game to”.  The Cats did refocus after the second period media timeout and were much more engaged from that point forward. 
In the third the Oilers would extend the lead to 3 goals before a modified second powerplay unit for the Cats would see a Tyson Kowaluk point shot get passed a well set screen by Jayven Leslie to set the final score at 5-3.  Maclean would get an assist on the Kowaluk marker to complete a three point afternoon.
Asked about the play of Maclean and Jungwirth this afternoon Dube replied, “A big night for Chad on the sheet and that’s what we’re trying to do, with a little juggle of the lines, is to get guys going.” With regard to the impressive weekend of play by Jungwirth, “he played steady.  It wasn’t a matter of trying to do too much, just an execution of plays.  Do the smart plays do the right plays and it worked out”.
All told the Bobcats come out of a very tough weekend with 2 of 4 points against two of the leagues top teams.  One has to think without heavy hearts and concerns for a teammate leaving injured that there could have been a different result and potentially 4 points on the weekend.  Cats were 1 for 4 on the powerplay Sunday and many would argue they deserved a couple of additional opportunities.  Notably early in period 2 when Tyson Kowaluk took a high stick that will result in some dental work from the Bobcats friends at Orion Dental Group.
Next Bobcat action will come Wednesday January 22nd when the Grande Prairie Storm will visit the Civic Centre.  The Storm currently sit 6th in the AJHL North Division standings.  Puck drop is at 7:30 with the pregame show on Hockey TV and MixLr at 7:15.