For the first time in the 2016-17 season, the Lloydminster Bobcats have a winning streak after tonight's 3-2 victory over the Grande Prairie Storm at Revolution Place.
Wilson Northey, Zach Kaiser, and Chasetan Braid provided all of the Bobcats' goal scoring in the first period, while Austin McGrath stopped 27 of 29 shots for his sixth AJHL victory as the Bobcats picked up their second consecutive win.
Playing in their first game under new coach Matt Keillor, the Storm jumped ahead 1-0 on the strength of Zac McNeill's 10th goal of the season early in the first, but the Bobcats struck right back with a pair.
FIrst it was Northey, leading a 2-on-1 with Caden Benson, deciding to rip a shot past the blocker of Storm goaltender Xavier Burghardt and home for his third of the season to make it 1-1. The lone assist on the goal went to defenceman Evan Wood.
Less than 90 seconds later, the Cats struck once again as Kaiser took the puck deep into Grande Prairie territory before centring towards linemate Brady Barclay. The puck appeared to bounce off a defender and in to give the Cats a 2-1 lead although the goal was initially credited to Barclay. Wood picked up his second assist of the game on the play, and Kaiser now leads the Bobcats in points on the season with 19, just a single point ahead of Kobe Walker.
Before the period was over, the Bobcats made good on their lone power play opportunity of the opening 20 minutes as Chasetan Braid set up on the top of the circle on a feed from Daniel Hilsendager, sliding a puck to Northey in the high slot. Northey tried to get a shot away, but the puck was blocked and redirected back to Braid who quickly lifted it over the glove hand of Burghardt to make it 3-1 Lloydminster.
Although the Storm outshot Lloydminster 17-13 over the next two periods, including 10-3 in the second, they only mustered one more goal as McNeill put home his second of the night early in the third to make it 3-2.
The Bobcats finished the night 1/5 on the power play, while Grande Prairie failed to convert on a pair of opportunities.
Burghardt was beat three times on 10 shots in the opening frame, and Arik Weersink took over from there for the Storm keeping a blank sheet on 13 shots over the final two periods.
With the win, the Bobcats now sit just one point back of the Storm for seventh place in the Viterra AJHL North Division, still holding six games in hand.
The two teams will meet again at Revolution Place Saturday night at 7:30PM.