It looked like deja vu, but it wasn't.
Trailing by a goal late in the third period, the Lloydminster Bobcats poured on the pressure first on the penalty kill, and even more at even strength, but unlike last weekend's dramatic comeback in Spruce Grove, the Cats fell short on the losing side of a 2-1 contest against the Okotoks Oilers.
Despite putting 35 shots on goal, the Cats were only able to get one puck past 1999-born goaltender Matthew Armitage, who improved to a perfect 3-0 in his rookie season. The lone blemish came early in the second period when Bobcats defenceman Nolan Carothers jumped into the rush on a two-on-one with Zach Kaiser, putting a hard low shot on goal that Armitage stopped, but Kaiser knocked home the rebound for his third of the season to put the Cats ahead 1-0.
The lead didn't last long as it only took two minutes before Nolan Thompson completed a pretty tic-tac-toe passing play from Carson Beers and Jordan Davies, sliding the puck into an open cage to make it 1-1. Bobcats goaltender Austin McGrath was perfect on eight shots in the first, but was left helpless on the backdoor tap in play.
Just past the midway point of the second period, the Oilers made short work of their second power play opportunity of the night, as Austin Wong took a feed from Davies and made a nice play out of the corner to beat McGrath, giving Okotoks a 2-1 lead. That's all that McGrath would allow on the night as he came up with 29 saves on 31 Oilers shots, but he didn't get the goal support to reward him for his efforts.
Special teams ultimately stood as the difference tonight as Okotoks went 1/3 on the man advantage, with the game winning goal scored with the Bobcats shorthanded. Meanwhile, the Cats had four power play opportunities but weren't able to break through.
Potentially more significant than the loss on the scoreboard tonight was the loss on the ice for the Cats tonight, as captain Connor Odelein went down early in the first period with a lower body injury, and never returned to the ice. Later on, it was forward Brayden Hyland that went off to the dressing room, and he also didn't return.
The Bobcats will be back on home ice tomorrow night at 7:30PM with a showdown against the 4-6-2 Olds Grizzlys.