The Christmas spirit was on full display Wednesday night at the Civic Centre.
The Lloydminster Bobcats came out in their “Ugly Christmas Sweater” themed jerseys, egg nog was being served, and even Santa Claus made an appearance, but the biggest reason for the holiday cheer was a Tucker Scantlebury wrist-shot!
The Foxwarren, MB native delivered the Bobcats an early Christmas present with an overtime winning goal, as the Cats downed the visiting Drayton Valley Thunder 3-2 in OT.
Scantlebury’s fourth goal of the season helped the Bobcats complete a two-goal comeback to pick up their third straight win over the Thunder.
However, when the game was first underway, it was not the start the Bobcats were looking for. After an early penalty, the visitors made the Cats pay when Steve Senese tipped home a feed from Vincent Beaudry.
Trailing 1-0 after one period of play, the Bobcats saw the deficit grow even larger in the second.
Just 2:21 into the frame Trevor Ayre made the Bobcats pay for a turnover in their own end to make it 2-0.
Oddly enough, the Thunder’s second goal seemed to be the spark the Bobcats needed to get themselves back into the game.
Just over four minutes later, Lloydminster’s own Kobe Walker continued his strong offensive play, scoring his 18th goal of the season off of a Zach Kaiser rebound.
The score would remain 2-1 in favour of Drayton Valley entering the third, where the Bobcats would get back on even ground.
After Kaiser helped set up Walker’s goal to get Lloydminster on the board, Walker returned the favour. The Bobcat’s forward drove the puck below the goal line before finding Kaiser by himself out front with a perfect pass and Kaiser made no mistake.
Both teams had plenty of chances during the remainder of the third period, but Thunder goalie Rory Dumelie and Bobcats netminder Pierce Diamond came up big for their respective teams.
With the score still 2-2 at the end of regulation, it was off to overtime before each team could start their Christmas breaks, and that’s where Scantlebury stepped up.
Driving towards the goal, Scantlebury pulled up in the slot and beat Dumelie high blocker-side to send the Bobcats faithful home happy.
The Bobcats outshot the Thunder 30-28.
On the power-play, the Cats went 0 for 5, while Dayton Valley finished 1 for 3.
The Bobcats will now get to enjoy the Christmas break before resuming their AJHL schedule on Friday, December 29th against the Whitecourt Wolverines.