With 14 combined goals tonight, the Lloydminster Bobcats and Bonnyville Pontiacs filled up the scoresheet and it was the Pontiacs that were able to come out on top with an 8-6 victory at the Civic Centre.
The Bobcats looked to be in control just past the midway point of the second period as Zac Webb completed his first AJHL hat trick, putting the Cats ahead 5-2 with 27:23 to go in regulation.
However, the Pontiacs showed their veteran composure and struck back quickly when Derek Brown found the back of the net, giving him a goal in back-to-back games against the Bobcats. The Brown marker led to a run of scoring for the Pontiacs as Alden Dupuis, Luke Israel, PJ Marrocco, and Jake Gresh tallied in sequence to give Bonnyville a 7-5 lead nearly midway through the third period.
Lloydminster fought right back after Gresh made it a two goal lead when the captain Connor Odelein directed a feed from Webb past Pontiacs goaltender Josh Williams to bring the game within one goal at 7-6, but that was the closest the Bobcats would come.
With minutes remaining in regulation, Trygve Many Guns added an insurance marker for the Pontiacs as he beat Jeremy Kelleway glove side to secure an 8-6 victory.
Bonnyville got the scoring going tonight as Dupuis scored his first of two in the game when he knocked a loose puck in the crease past Bobcats starter Austin McGrath just over halfway through the period. That was just the start of if in the first as Webb added his first two of the night, Gresh scored his first of two for the Pontiacs, and Brady Barclay and Kyle Dronyk each scored their first AJHL goals to make it 4-2 Lloydminster after two before Webb extended the lead to three goals early in the second.
The Bobcats power play came into tonight's game with one conversion in 48 opportunities, but found new life tonight with a total of four power play goals on seven opportunities. Two of those goals came on a major penalty for checking to the head by Bonnyville's Charlie Gawlicki, which ended Bobcats defenceman Jamieson Ree's night late in the first period.
Lloydminster's power play finished the night officially at 3 for 7, while Bonnyville converted three of five.
Austin McGrath got the start for the Bobcats, and played forty minutes of the game with 19 saves on 25 shots. Jeremy Kelleway came on in relief with eight saves on ten shots.
Conversely, Matteo Esposito started for the Pontiacs but was replaced after one period after allowing four goals on 15 shots. Josh Williams was strong in relief with 24 saves on 26 shots over 40 minutes.
The Bobcats will continue to search for their first win of the season on Saturday night when they head to Spruce Grove to take on the Saints. The puck drops at 7:00, pre-game begins at 6:45PM on 95.9 Lloyd FM.