The Lloydminster Bobcats scored 58 seconds from the start of the game, and again 58 seconds from the end as the team clinched a franchise record-setting 43rd win of the year with a 5-2 victory over Brooks on Saturday night.
First, it was Ryan Chynoweth taking a cross crease feed from Morgan Messenger and beating Bandits netminder Garrett Hughson to make it 1-0 Bobcats less than a minute into the contest. The Cats would get two cracks on the power play in the opening frame, but failed to convert as they took the 1-0 lead into the dressing room.
The power play would get more work in the second as the Bandits took three straight penalties in the first ten minutes, and the Bobcats were more opportunistic in the second with a pair of power play goals from Kevin Darrar and Noah Bauld to put the home side up 3-0. Shortly afterwards, Nick Prkusic took a late shot at Bobcats goal tender Alex Leclerc after he had covered the puck, drawing the attention of Bobcats forward Connor Odelein. The two quickly engaged in a fight, with Prkusic being assessed an extra penalty for the slash on Leclerc. With a 3-0 lead, thanks in large part to two power play goals already in the period, the Bobcats set out on their sixth power play of the night, but it was the Bandits who struck as Jeff Malott got behind the Cats defenders and beat Leclerc with a shorthanded marker to make it 3-1.
Malott's power play goal stemmed the Bobcats momentum for a short while, but before the end of the period, Eric Benshadle was able to beat Hughson with a short side wrist shot that regained the three-goal lead for Lloydminster, as the Cats took a 4-1 lead into the dressing room.
Shots on goal through forty minutes were 34-12 in favour of the hometown Bobcats.
In the third period, Brooks came out strong, and cut the lead to 4-2 when Logan Mick's wrist shot found a way through traffic and past Leclerc. However, that was all the Bobcats would give up, and an empty net goal by Troy Van Tetering with 58 seconds to play was the final nail in the coffin as the Cats took a 5-2 victory over the Bandits in front of 1450 fans at the Civic Centre.
In total, the Bobcats converted two goals on ten power play opportunities, while the Bandits failed to strike on three man advantage situations, although they did get one goal on the penalty kill.
The win was the 43rd win of the season for the Bobcats, passing both the 1986-87 Lancers and 1999-2000 Blazers for most wins in franchise history, in the organization's 33rd campaign.
Next weekend, the Bobcats will close out the regular season with a pair of road games against the Drayton Valley Thunder on Friday and Saturday night.
Playoffs will begin on home ice the following week, with game one set for Thursday, March 10th at 7:30PM.