Throughout the opening twenty minutes of play, the Lloydminster Bobcats appeared set to go toe-to-toe with the Spruce Grove Saints Monday afternoon at the Grant Fuhr Arena.
However, once the second period began, the Bobcats had a hard time keeping up with the defending AJHL champions.
The Saints scored four straight goals after a scoreless opening frame to defeat the Bobcats 4-0 on Family Day.
Playing on the road, Lloydminster played a tremendous road period of hockey in the first twenty minutes. Forcing turnovers and creating many chances, the Bobcats outshot the home team 10-9 and out chanced them, but were unable to capitalize on their opportunities.
Then once the second period started, the Saints stepped on the gas.
Peppering Bobcat’s goalie Justin Vertesi with 30 shots in the period, Spruce Grove found the back of the net three times with goals from Seth Fyten, Jordan Biro and Ryan Peckford.
The first of the three goals came on the power-play, which was an opportunity the Bobcats would receive down 2-0, but could not find the back of the net.
Trailing by a pair, local product Chase Stephenson laid out Cam Mitchell at centre ice. After a scrum occurred following the whistle, the Bobcats were given a full two minute five-on-three power-play.
Unfortunately, the Cats were unable to generate much momentum on the power-play before the Saints had killed it off.
Once the third period started it didn’t take long for the Saints to strike again.
Beginning the frame on the mad-advantage, Spruce Grove’s power-play struck for the second time on a goal by Logan Ganie.
Saint’s goalie Matthew Davis went on to stop all 24 Lloydminster shots that he faced to earn his 6th shutout of the season. Just Vertesi meanwhile made 55 saves on 59 shots.
The Bobcats finished 0 for 4 with the man-advantage, with the Saints going 2 for 4.
Lloydminster will now return home to the Border City in preparation for a Friday night contest against the Sherwood Park Crusaders, which will see the return of former Bobcats Zach Kaiser and Reid Irwin.
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30.