The Lloydminster Bobcats failed to convert on a number of opportunities – including four breakaways in the first period – and saw the Canmore Eagles take over the game as they skated to a 4-1 victory at the Canmore Rec Centre on Saturday night.
Canmore scored the lone goal in the first as a Jake Ashton shot tipped off the leg of a Bobcats defender and past goaltender Austin McGrath to make it 1-0 after one. Although the visitors trailed after one, it was a promising start as they seemed to have some extra jump in their step after a tough loss in Brooks the night before. However, the lack of finish on a number of chances, with full credit to Eagles goaltender Ryan Bontorin who had a strong game, would ultimately cost the Bobcats.
The Eagles came out with more urgency in the second period, but found themselves shorthanded as Adamu Tanaka went off for holding. On the ensuing Bobcats man advantage, Eagles forward Coy Prevost was able to step into a loose puck in the slot that caromed off of the end boards on a dump in play, pounding it through a screen and past McGrath to make it 2-0 for the Eagles. From there, the Eagles made McGrath's night much more difficult.
Although that was the only goal they would score in the second, the Eagles outshot the Bobcats 17-7 in the period as McGrath put on a stellar performance.
In the third, Lloydminster wasn't able to get anything going as Canmore jumped ahead 3-0 with a goal from Logan Ferguson on a delayed Bobcats penalty with 10:13 to go in regulation.
Bobcats defenceman Austin Ehret broke Bontorin's shutout late in the third as he took a cross ice feed from Kobe Walker and lifted it past the netminder, but with the Lloydminster net empty on the next shift, Eagles defenceman Brett Stewart iced the game with the fourth Canmore goal of the night.
McGrath took the loss on the night but gave the Bobcats a chance to win with a 42 save performance. At the other end, Bontorin faced a considerably lighter workload with 24 saves on 25 shots, but came up big when he was needed.
The Bobcats will look to break the four game losing skid tomorrow afternoon with a date against the Calgary Mustangs at the Father David Bauer Arena.