It was a successful start to the Bobcats three game road trip as they never trailed in 60 minutes of play, defeating the Grande Prairie Storm 5-3 on Tuesday night.
The Bobcats kicked off a three game road trip starting in Grande Prairie and after winning two home games the past weekend they were looking to extend their winning streak to three, sitting at a record of 21-19-4 on the year and in third place in the North Division, four points ahead of fourth place Sherwood Park Crusaders. While the Grande Prairie Storm had won only 1 of 5 games in 2014, sitting in seventh place in the North Division with a record of 17-26-4 on the season. The last time these two met was back in late October, when the Bobcats beat the Storm twice during a weekend series.
Goaltender Christopher Tai made his Bobcats debut tonight, starting in goal and Lloydminster born, affiliated players Mason Shaw and James Hilsendager would also be making their Bobcats debut. Bobcats would get the scoring started, shorthanded, who else but Austin McDonald with his fifth shorthanded goal on the season to make it 1-0 ‘Cats. But with Grande Prairie still on the power-play, Bobcats go down another man and the Storm capitalize, Rory Court scores on the 5 on 3 to tie things up at 1-1. But the Bobcats would regain the lead thanks to Eric Therrien who got a working man’s goal by stuffing one through Nick Kulmanovsky to take the lead once again, 2-1. With 5 minutes left Dalton Olsen would tie things up, slapping one past Christopher Tai to make it 2-2.
The Bobcats Taylor Mulder would score the lone goal in the second period, on the power-play, Mulder gets the last touch in front with assists coming in from Linden Springer and Tyler Kunz. Shots were 8-8 in the period.
The Storm would answer for the third consecutive time, Dylan Thudium on the power-play evens things up at 3-3 early in the third period. But as the Bobcats did all night, they answered with a goal of their own, again on the power-play, affiliated player 15 year old Mason Shaw put the Bobcats ahead scoring his first AJHL goal in his very first AJHL game to make it 4-3 ‘Cats with 8 minutes to go. Austin McDonald would add an empty netter to make the final score 5-3.
They start the 3 game road trip with a win, and GM/Coach Garry VanHereweghe was satisfied about the victory, “we came out very strong in the first period considering the long trip, out shooting and outchancing the Storm in the 1st period. Although the Storm regained some of the momentum in the 2nd Period, Christopher Tai, in his first start of the season, stood tall. A/P's Mason Shaw and James Hilsendager from the Midget AAA Bobcats both stepped up and contributed towards the win. A big 2 points to start off a very important 3 game road swing.”
The Bobcats extended their winning streak to three and move to 22-19-4 on the season, and create more space between them and fourth place Sherwood Park. Next up the Bobcats travel to Whitecourt to face the Wolverines tomorrow at 7:00 PM.