RECAP: Late Goal from Dragons Sinks Bobcats 3-2 Saturday Night

With the game looking to be destined for overtime, the Drumheller Dragons took advantage of a late opportunity as Chad Hurtubise scored a breakaway goal 1:30 remaining in regulation to lift the visitors over the Lloydminster Bobcats by a score of 3-2 at the Civic Centre Friday night.

Trailing 2-1 after two periods of play, the Bobcats brought the game back to even with less than seven minutes remaining as Chasetan Braid jammed home a rebound on a wrap play by Zach Webb for his first goal since coming to the Bobcats from the Saskatoon Blades. Having to battle back all night long, the goal came at a point where the Bobcats were struggling to get anything towards the Dragons net and gave the home side life. However, the energy left the building when Hurtubise took advantage of an offensive zone turnover several minutes later and made the Cats pay.


After a scoreless first period tonight, the Dragons got on the board just shy of the midway point of the second period as Jordan Taupert banged home his own rebound to put the Bobcats down by one. Taupert came into tonight's game as the leading scorer on the Drumheller roster, and the goal was his ninth of the year, tying his career high set with Drayton Valley in 2014-15 and matched again last year, although the previous two totals were reached over a full season.

The Cats struck back quickly after Taupert's marker, as Kobe Walker took a chip pass from defenceman Evan Wood and beat a pair of Dragons defenders en route to the goal. First, he pivoted past a check near the Bobcats bench and left the defenceman behind, then cut to the middle of the ice and toe dragged around a sprawling player before lifting a wrist shot over the glove of former Midget AAA Bobcats teammate Dane Dow, who earned the win tonight for Drumheller.


The lead was short lasted just 0:56 before Drumheller struck back with a power play marker off the stick of Troy Dudley, who registered his first AJHL goal on the play. The goal held up until Braid pulled the game back to even well into the third period.

Things got rough in the final minute of the game with the Dragons leading 3-2, as Matthew Jones delivered a hard hit on a Drumheller player in front of the benches before being slashed in return. A crowd quickly gathered and ultimately the Dragons came out of the situation shorthanded, but even with a 6-on-4 advantage with Austin McGrath on the bench, the Bobcats couldn't find a tying goal.

Tonight's game was a showdown between former battery-mates McGrath and Dow, who had a very successful year with the Midget AAA Bobcats a year ago. Dow made 26 saves on 28 shots in the victory, while McGrath stopped 32 of 35.

Lloydminster had six power play opportunities tonight and failed to convert on each, stretching Drumheller's penalty kill streak to 30 consecutive successful kills. On the other side, Drumheller converted one of five man advantage chances.

Bobcats forward Zach Kaiser came into the contest with a 10 game point streak, but failed to get on the scoresheet tonight. However, linemate Kobe Walker picked up a point for the fifth straight game.

Drumheller will complete their northern road trip with a trip to Bonnyville tomorrow afternoon, while the Bobcats are off until Friday when they host the Canmore Eagles.