The Lloydminster Bobcats are heading home empty handed after a weekend swing through Whitecourt and Fort Saskatchewan, falling 5-3 on Saturday night against the Wolverines and 4-3 Sunday afternoon in a neutral site matinee against the Sherwood Park Crusaders.
On Saturday night, the scrappy Bobcats battled their way to a 2-2 tie early in the third period thanks to a game-tying power play goal from Brady Barclay, but a brief lapse turned into three goals in less than five minutes from the Wolverines to ultimately put the game out of reach. Zach Kaiser put the first goal on the board in the first period, and Matthew Jones registered his first AJHL marker with less than ten minutes to play. Between the pipes, Jeremy Kelleway had a stellar performance with 31 saves on 36 shots.
Sunday afternoon, the Cats looked to get back in the win column at the Jubilee Rec Centre in Fort Saskatchewan, but couldn’t top the Sherwood Park Crusaders. The Crusaders scored early in the contest but the Bobcats brought it back to even just eight minutes in as Mason Fischer deflected a Brendon Borbely shot home for his first goal in a Lloydminster uniform. Sherwood Park’s Alex Rotundo answered back quickly with a pair of goals before the period ended and gave his team a 3-1 lead after one. In the second, Barclay scored his second power play goal in as many games to make it a one-goal game, but the Cats allowed a shorthanded goal against in the final minute of the period to go down 4-2 after forty minutes. Barclay struck again late in the third with another power play marker with under two minutes to play, but the visitors couldn’t find a tying goal. Austin McGrath got the nod on Sunday and put forth a great performance of his own, stopping 38 shots in a losing effort.
Lloydminster was paced offensively by Barclay over the course of the weekend, who picked up four points with three goals and an assist in two games. Line mate Kobe Walker picked up three assists while Zach Kaiser had a goal and an assist, and comes out of the weekend with an eight-game point streak intact. Fischer and Jones both picked up their first goals with the Bobcats, while Borbely hit the scoresheet with his first AJHL point.
On the injury front, Kyle Dronyk was out of the lineup on Sunday afternoon after suffering an upper body injury in Whitecourt on Saturday night. Daniel Hilsendager left Sunday’s game after a vicious incident with Crusaders defenceman Austin Shmoorkoff. After a collision behind the net, Shmoorkoff punched Hilsendager in the head as he skated back up ice before dropping his gloves and throwing several more punches. Shmoorkoff was assessed an instigator and a fighting major while Hilsendager was given a double minor for roughing, but didn’t return to the game.
The Bobcats will now hold five straight games on home ice starting on Wednesday when the Whitecourt Wolverines come to town, followed by a Friday night matchup against the Calgary Mustangs and a Saturday contest with the Drumheller Dragons. All three games will begin at 7:30PM at the Centennial Civic Centre.