With a five-goal output, the Lloydminster Bobcats extended their current winning streak to five games after defeating the Grande Prairie Storm on Sunday afternoon to complete a weekend sweep.
In his second game in a Bobcats uniform, Brett Smythe got his new team on the board just over a minute into the game with his first goal since being acquired from the Drayton Valley Thunder. Although he wasn’t originally credited, Kevin Darrar had the secondary assist on the play, and extended his point streak to seven games.
After finding the back of the net in six straight games, Zac Giroux’s streak was busted on Saturday night, although an assist extended his point streak. Several minutes after Smythe’s opening tally, Giroux got back in the scoring column by unloading a slap shot from the high slot that beat Storm goaltender Arik Weersink before going off the cross bar and in.
After 20 minutes of play, the Bobcats held a 19-13 advantage in shots, and carried the 2-0 lead into the intermission.
In the first minute of the second period, the Cats got their first power play opportunity of the day, and it only took four seconds for the puck to get back to defenceman Christian Lloyd, who found walked to the centre of the zone and fired a shot past Weersink to push the Bobcats lead to 3-0. Another streak was extended on the play, as Taylor Allan picked up an assist and now has points in six straight games.
The Storm struck back a few minutes later as Michael Clarke sent a pass out of the corner in the Bobcats zone, finding Devan Reed who made no mistake in beating Bobcats goaltender Alex Leclerc to cut the Bobcats lead to 3-1.
Despite the Storm’s comeback effort, the visitors were able to strike back again as Morgan Messenger, with one hand on his stick, tipped a puck up and over Weersink to make it 4-1 Bobcats. With the goal, Morgan Messenger extended his point streak to seven games, but his production wasn’t done.
The Storm came within two goals again later in the period, as Cruz Cote snuck a sharp-angle shot past Leclerc to put life back into his team, but Messenger would have the final tally.
Just over a minute into the third period, Messenger converted a pretty passing play from line mates Troy Van Tetering and Kris Spriggs for his second goal of the night, cementing the score at 5-2 for the Bobcats. With an assist on the play, Kris Spriggs now has points in four straight games.
For the second straight game, the Bobcats were able to strike on the power play, ultimately going 1-for-3 on the day. On the other side, the Storm went 0-for-6 with the man advantage.
Stopping 27 of 29 shots, Alex Leclerc picked up his 21st victory of the season. Weersink turned aside 36 of 41 shots in a losing effort.
The Bobcats will now return to Lloydminster for their first home game since December 9th when the Camrose Kodiaks come to the Civic Centre on Tuesday night at 7:30PM.