Calgary Canucks vs Lloydminster Bobcats Saturday, November 9th, 2019
Written by: Tyler Campbell
Perhaps I jinxed the team. People have told me I?m a jinx in the past, and last night it might have been my fault. See, yesterday I wrote (as a JOKE!) that the Bobcats may never lose at home again. So what happened last night? The Cats, after picking up where they left off Friday night in the 1st period of play, allowed a 2-0 lead to slip away and were defeated by the Calgary Canucks by a 5-2 score.
As I stated, things looked very promising early on for the Cats. Cameron Aucoin got things started on the power play as he went five hole on Canucks goaltender Connor Martin at 7:14 of the 1st. The Cats made it 2-0 at 18:31 of the period as former Canuck Brendan Morrow spun and threw one towards the slot that first Chance Adrian got a stick on and then Mack Stewart found in his skates. With Martin out of position, Stewart was able to kick the puck to his stick and put it in the back of the net. 2-0 Cats, shots on goal were 17-8 for the Cats, and it appeared as though they were set to win their 3rd straight at home and 7 of 8 points in their last 4 at the Centennial Civic Centre. And then the 2nd period happened?
Credit where credit is due and the Canucks came out hard, were pressuring the puck a lot better in the 2nd, and it didn?t take long to pay off as 2:19 in Leighton Burns-Marion would capitalize on a Cats turnover to make it 2-1, and then just 2:31 later it would be Max McKeown getting a return feed from Carter Benoit on an odd man rush and just 4:50 into the 2nd it was a 2-2 game and despite a ton of pressure from the Canucks (including a four minute man advantage) it would remain that way through two periods of play.
The Cats regrouped and looked ok in the first half of the 3rd. Josh Dias was keeping it a 2-2 game making some big saves for the Cats, but the Cats weren?t able to give him the lead. Then at 13:57, after the Canucks were able to force another turnover with their aggressive fore-check, it was Matthew Brunton sneaking a rebound underneath Dias for what turned out to be the game winning goal. Carter Benoit would score on a great individual effort at 17:42 to make it 4-2, and finally Alex Heal would ice it with an empty netter and the Canucks would leave the border city with a 5-2 victory.
After the game I asked Nigel Dube how he saw things. ?I thought for us tonight we reversed the script from last night. We came out guns blazing in the 1st period, and then after that they got one and we just chased ourselves a little bit. Whether it was just trying to do a little too much or just getting away from the systems and the game plan, it results in the way it did.? After a disappointing loss it might be difficult for the team to take away positives, but there were a few. ?Penalty kill, power play we got one again, so special teams were solid. There were a lot of chances that we weren?t able to capitalize on early but that?s hockey and that?s going to happen? Dube said. While the players and coaches are disappointed in letting one slip away, Dube knows that his club will rebound strong ?When you get away from doing things the right way, that?s what it?ll lead to. There?s no doubt, especially with how close this group is right now that they definitely knew what was going on between the 1st and 2nd and the 2nd and 3rd, it?s just a matter of correcting it at those times which we probably fell short on tonight, but for the most part they?re aware of, it?s not as if they?re oblivious to it.?
Bobcats travel to Spruce Grove on Wednesday to take on the Saints. That?ll get going at 7:00 with all the action available on Hockey TV. Next home game for the Cats will come on Friday November 22nd as they?ll host the Grand Prairie Storm for a weekend set. Puck drop for those games at the Centennial Civic Centre will be 7:30. As always, if you can?t make it down to the rink, Shane Tomayer and myself will have the action for you on Hockey TV or on the MixLR app.