Showing some opportunistic scoring, the Lloyd Bobcats were able to break the game open in the second period against the Okotoks Oilers and never look back, despite spending much of the period chasing the puck
Holding a 1-0 lead after a relatively even first period courtesy of a goal from Evan Tschumi, the Bobcats found themselves under fire to open the second. With Troy Van Tetering going off for a tripping penalty 0:50 into the middle frame, the 'Cats went on the penalty kill for the third time against the AJHL's top-ranked powerplay unit. The Bobcats had no problem killing it off, but remained under pressure with Alex Leclerc making several big saves to keep his team ahead. Then at 9:55 of the second, Taylor Mulder was caught obstructing an Oilers player in front of the benches, and was whistled off for holding. On their fourth powerplay opportunity of the night, Okotoks was finally able to break through, as defenceman Carson Beers' point shot whistled high over the net and into the glass, but Trey DeGraaf was waiting on the doorstep as the puck bounced back towards the goal, beating Leclerc for his sixth goal of the year.
With all the momentum in their favour, and the game tied midway through the game, the Oilers were looking to pull ahead. However, 'Cats defenceman Nick Quillan gathered a loose puck and skated it out of harm's way into Oilers territory, and found himself alone as his linemates went for a change. Having no other option, Quillan threw the puck on goal from a sharp angle, and it found its way past Wilson and in to give the 'Cats a 2-1 lead. This goal would put the brakes on the momentum that Okotoks had built up, and six minutes later the 'Cats struck again.
After some offensive pressure by the 'Cats, Evan Tschumi stepped onto the ice from the bench, and used his long reach to intercept an attempted Oilers breakout pass and brought the puck ahead. Tschumi drove into the zone one-on-one against the lone defender, and snapped the puck past a screen and beat Wilson blocker side, going off the post and in to push the Bobcats lead to three.
However, the Oilers weren't done, as they continued to push right up to the final buzzer of the second period, but they couldn't find a way past Leclerc. Shots on goal in the second frame favoured the visitors 14-11, but it was the Bobcats with a 2-1 edge in goals during the middle frame.
Once the third period began, the Bobcats slowly but surely wore down their opponent, and were able to strike again as Zac Giroux corralled a loose puck in the offensive zone, walking in to the slot and beating Wilson high blocker-side to push the 'Cats lead to three.
Frustrations began to boil over shortly after, as Josh Giacomin knocked down an Oilers player in front of Wilson away from the play, drawing the ire of Cooper Page. Page and Giacomin would drop their gloves and tangle, with Page getting the slight edge. Over the course of the third period, a total of 58 minutes in penalties were assessed to the two teams. That included two minutes and a game misconduct to Oilers forward Joe Karpyshyn for a check from behind on Noah Bauld. In the same stoppage, Tanner Schacle for the Oilers, and Cole Josefchak and Kevin Darrar for the Bobcats were also issued minor penalties for roughing.
Minutes before Karpyshyn was tossed out of the game, Austin O'Rourke put the final nail in the coffin for the Bobcats, finding a loose back beside Wilson and knocking it in for his second goal of the season. O'Rourke finished the game with one goal and two penalty minutes, and a number of thunderous checks that had Oilers players on edge all night long.
Alex Leclerc stood tall throughout for the Bobcats, stopping 30 of 31 shots directed his way, and pushed his record as the Bobcats starting goaltender to 8-0.
The Bobcats powerplay converted once on five opportunities, while the penalty kill shut down 5 of shorthanded situations.
Since scoring his first goal of the season on Saturday night against Canmore, Bobcats forward Evan Tschumi has now scored four goals in his last three games, with a pair of goals and an assist tonight.
The Bobcats are back in action tomorrow night with a trip to Camrose to take on the Kodiaks. Puck drop is at 7:00 at the EnCana Arena, and pre-game will begin on Lloyd FM at 6:40.