In a game that never felt certain, the Lloydminster Bobcats were able to pull away from the Grande Prairie Storm in the third period to pick up a win in the team's first contest of the New Year.
After allowing a late goal against in the second period to cut an early 2-0 lead in half, the Cats responded in the third with a strong effort to finish off their opponent. 7:12 into the final frame, reigning AJHL Player of the Week Taylor Allan took a feed from Taylor Mulder and put a wrist shot past Storm goaltender Tate Sproxton to put the 'Cats ahead 3-1. The goal extended Allan's point streak to five games, building on a strong finish to 2015.
Later in the third period, it was Morgan Messenger chipping in as he put a one-timer past Sproxton on the power play to put the final nail in the coffin. The goal was the Cats sixth power play goal in the last six games, and pushed Messenger's point streak to six games.
Although it was a sound victory in the end, a fast start faded off and became a tense affair as the game wore on.
Kevin Darrar opened the scoring for the Cats in the first ten minutes of the game, knocking in a rebound off of a shot from the blue line by Stefan Wood. Before the period was over, Noah Bauld took advantage of an odd-man rush and put a backhand past Sproxton to put his team ahead 2-0 on the day he turned 19, and in his first game with the 'Cats since December 2nd after leaving for the World Junior A Challenge.
From there, the Bobcats weren't able to get anything past Sproxton for the next period, and Cats reminder Alex Leclerc bailed his team out multiple times before getting beat by Mark Nerland late in the middle frame.
A number of streaks continued for the Bobcats in tonight's game, including the team's winning streak (four games), Mulder's point streak (four games), Darrar's point streak (six points), Kris Spriggs' point streak (three games), and although Zac Giroux wasn't able to score in his seventh straight game, he extended his point streak to seven with an assist on Allan's marker.
The two teams will meet again tomorrow afternoon in a rematch at 2:00PM at Revolution Place in Grande Prairie.