Tanner Laderoute pounced on a turnover deep in Bobcats territory and knocked home his third goal of the 2016-17 season with less than six minutes left in regulation to lead the Okotoks Oilers to a 2-1 victory over the Lloydminster Bobcats in a late matinee at the AJHL Showcase in Camrose on Friday.
With the two teams deadlocked at 1-1, Laderoute found a loose puck off of a faceoff miscue in the Bobcats zone and beat Lloydminster goaltender Austin McGrath in tight to take the final lead of the night. The Bobcats would pressure late and even had a 6-on-4 power play with the net empty in the dying seconds but weren't able to find a second goal against Oilers netminder Matthew Armitage.
Armitage was beat in the first period on a backdoor one-timer from Cory Santoro, who netted his first as a Bobcat on a slick 2-on-1 passing play from Kobe Walker, but the Okotoks goaltender allowed nothing more for the rest of the night, stopping 27 of 28 shots directed his way.
The Bobcats lead held up until midway through the second period when Kyle Gordon sent a wrist shot on goal through a screen, fooling McGrath to make it 1-1. That's how the score would remain until Laderoute broke the tie in the third.
Continuing a trend that has plagued the team all season, the Bobcats weren't able to strike on four power play opportunities. Three of those were full two minute man advantage situations, while one came with less than half a minute left to give them one final 6-on-4 push. On the flipside, the Cats only had to kill off one penalty, and successfully did so in the first period.
Lloydminster has now dipped to 0-6 on the season despite putting forth their best 60-minute effort by far, and will look to get in the win column tomorrow afternoon. The Oilers leave Camrose with a big pair of wins against the North Division after beating Sherwood Park on Thursday night.
The Bobcats complete Showcase weekend with a 1:00PM matinee against the Calgary Mustangs at the Max McLean Arena on Saturday. Fans not in attendance can catch all the action live on FASTHockey and 95.9 Lloyd FM with pre-game beginning at 12:45.