Although the outcome was never certain, the Lloydminster Bobcats outlasted the Calgary Canucks for a 2-1 shootout victory on Sunday afternoon at the Max Bell Centre in Calgary, AB.
It was the Canucks who got off to a quick start during the matinee as Andrew Marshall swatted a rebound past Bobcats goaltender Pierce Diamond just 0:32 into the game to give the home team the lead.
The Bobcats were able to strike back later in the period on a man advantage as Ryan Chynoweth picked up a rebound off the pads of Canucks net minder Logan Drackett and slid it home to even the score. The play started with Kris Spriggs finding Morgan Messenger backdoor, who couldn’t fool Drackett but the puck then found Chynoweth. This was Chynoweth’s first goal as a Bobcat, joining teammates Griffin Mumby, Stefan Wood, and Eric Benshadle who all achieved the feat Saturday night in Okotoks. Chynoweth now sits one goal back of Okotoks forward Matt McNair for the league lead in power play goals, with 12 on the season. Overall, Chynoweth has now reached 20 goals on the season and 35 points.
From there, neither side would strike again as both teams settled into a conservative game on the Olympic-sized ice, keeping shots to the outside while Drackett and Diamond had an answer for the few high risk opportunities that came up.
Former Bobcat Josh Giacomin had two golden opportunities to end it in the third period and again in overtime as he found himself in alone, but Diamond was able to come up with the stop both times.
Conversely, several Bobcats players had grade A scoring chances in close on Drackett, but were unable to break the tie.
After overtime settled nothing, Kris Spriggs was given the nod to open the shootout. Spriggs delivered a goal for the Cats with a forehand to backhand move, lifting the puck underneath the cross bar. From that point forward, nobody else would find the net as both Noah Bauld and Christian Lloyd for the Bobcats, and Marshall, Giacomin, and Ben Assad for the Canucks failed to score.
With the one, the Bobcats were able to make it a four-point weekend in three games through Southern Alberta.
The Lloydminster power play has now found the back of the net in four straight games, as the Bobcats went one for three on the power play today. The Canucks failed to strike on their three opportunities.
Diamond picked up his tenth AJHL victory, turning aside 22 of 23 shots faced. At the other end, Drackett stopped 23 of 24 before being beat by Spriggs in the shootout.
The Cats will now return home to face the Spruce Grove Saints on Friday night at the Civic Centre.