A slow start put the Lloydminster Bobcats in a hole that they were never able to climb out of as the visiting Drumheller Dragons left the Civic Centre with a 3-1 victory Thursday night.
Struggling to get going in the first period, the Bobcats didn’t register a shot until over ten minutes in. By that time Drumheller had taken a 1-0 lead on a power play goal from newly acquired defenceman Austin Wong.
The Cats came alive late in the opening frame, and were able to draw things even at the 6:11 mark as Connor Odelein deflected an Evan Wood shot past Lloydminster native Dane Dow in the Dragons goal for a power play marker. Trevor Mallett picked up the secondary assist on the goal.
It didn’t take long for the Dragons to regain the lead, as Wong struck for his second of the night just over six minutes later to take a 2-1 edge that lasted into the second intermission.
Down one heading into the final 20, the Bobcats weren’t able to muster a comeback, and the Dragons found the back of the net once more for insurance as Evan Rochowiak capped off the night to make it a 3-1 Drumheller victory.
For the first time this preseason, the Bobcats gave the entire game to one goaltender as Jeremy Kelleway made 29 saves on 32 shots. In the other crease, Dow allowed just one shot past him out of 19.
The two teams will meet again tomorrow night in Drumheller, before the Bobcats close off their exhibition season at home on Saturday night against the Fort McMurray Oil Barons at 7:30PM.