Overtime magic sends Bobcats fans home happy

It would be another thrilling end to a Bobcats game, as the team beat the Drayton Valley Thunder 3-2 in overtime in front of nearly 1,000 fans on Saturday night. After letting the game get away from them in the second, the ‘Cats never let down and now have themselves a four game winning streak.

The Bobcats entered Saturday night’s tilt 2 games above .500 and were looking to match their previous longest winning streak on the year at 4 games in a row. Visiting the Centennial Civic Centre were the Drayton Valley Thunder who despite owning a record of 3-10-0, were 2-3-0 in the month of October – playing significantly better than their record had shown.

Rookie Troy Rapuano continued his hot streak, scoring only 3:15 into the game, assisted by fellow rookie River Beattie. Chances were aplenty in the first period for the ‘Cats but the team was only able to pull ahead by one goal. Drayton Valley was overwhelmed getting outshot 18-5 and at the end of the first it was 1-0 Bobcats.

After a strong first 20 minutes, the same could not be said for the second period for the Bobcats. Drayton Valley converted half way through the period on the powerplay, Nathan Smith from Chris Kravchuk and Tanner Clarkson to even up the game at 1-1, and not a full two minutes later they would strike again. Brandon Long put Drayton Valley in the lead with an unassisted goal. After managing 18 shots in the first period, the ‘Cats could only salvage 5 shots in the second and went into the dressing room down 2-1 after 2 periods.

Fortunately the Bobcats put the second period behind them, as Braden Crone would deliver on a game tying goal from Bryce Woodward and River Beattie (River’s second assist on the night). It would be a very stingy period, as there were not many chances after the Crone goal and this contest required overtime.

The Bobcats would not disappoint the home crowd, as another rookie would step up. Patrick Geary would slip one past Drayton Valley’s Marc Olivier Daigle to send everyone home happy, and extend the Bobcats’ winning streak to 4 games.

“You can talk about it but until you walk the talk and get the job done in regulation, we’re going to end up in overtime. If there’s a positive in the overtime it builds character, and we’ve found a way to win,” Coach/GM Garry VanHereweghe said after the game. Three of the last four Bobcats wins have come in overtime and the team is now 4-0 in the extra frame this season.

The Bobcats are now sit tied for 4th place in the North Division. With a 10-7-0 record on the year, the team will now hit the road to face the Spruce Grove Saints on Wednesday night then return home to face-off against the Grande Prairie Storm on back to back nights at home next weekend.