After a 10 day layoff, the Bobcats were finally back in action Friday night at the Centennial Civic Centre for the first of two this weekend against the Grand Prairie Storm. The Cats were looking to continue their strong play on home ice of late as they’d taken 5 of a possible 8 points in their last four at home, and at least a 2 goal lead in each of those four games. Unfortunately though, last night’s very strong effort went unrewarded as the Storm took it 4-1.
It was a strong start for the Cats as Alex Danis opened the scoring for his first in the AJHL with a beautiful snipe off a 2 on 1 break. The snipe was great, the celebration was better as I’m sure it was mix of excitement and relief for Danis who has been coming on strong of late and just been a little snake bit. “All week in practice he said this weekend’s his weekend for it, and I think he went through about 3 celebration’s and pulled the monkey off his back” head coach Nigel Dube said after the game. “The kid is dedicated and works hard so it’s good to see.” The Storm tied it just 3:44 later as Jackson Savoie made a great pass to send Carter Myrol in and even though he failed to literally light the lamp, he did get the puck past Cats starter Josh Dias.
In the 2nd the Cats just couldn’t catch a break. Devin Sutton would put the Strom up 2-1 at the 3:58 mark as he tipped in a Brody Dale point shot, and then after about 3 different players fanned on a puck on its way to the slot, Lukas Jirousek was the one who finally found it and he made no mistake firing it past Dias to make it 3-1 Storm and it remained that way through 2 periods of play.
The Cats never said die all night. Would have been real easy to sulk after a 2nd period where they outshot the Storm 15-10, yet gave up the only 2 of the period, but they kept coming. A few adjustments made in the intermission resulted in cleaner zone exits and more speed through the neutral zone, but despite the effort they just couldn’t cash. Brody Dale would officially ice it with an empty netter right before the final buzzer to make it a 4-1 final in favour of the Storm. Final shots on goal were also in favour of the Storm 36-31.
After a solid effort by the Cats that went unrewarded, understandably coach Dube was a bit disheartened about how things went. “After 10 days off, there was a little bit of hot potato with the puck early on, but we held on. And then in the 2nd period we controlled the better parts of the play and outshoot them 15-10, but a puck goes in off one of our shin pads, and one off the back boards and we over skate a puck and they bury on it, and now we’re chasing the game. But there was no quit in our game. Until they got the empty netter with 4 seconds left there was no quit in our game. There were definitely some positives to take out of the game.”
Cats get a chance at redemption tonight as they’ll have a rematch with the Storm again at the Civic Centre. 7:30 puck drop, and don’t forget that it’s Teddy Bear toss night! So make sure you make it down to the Civic Centre and after the Bobcats first goal we want to see that ice covered in teddy bears! However, if you hate fun, or simply can’t make it down, as always Shane Tomayer and myself will have the action HOPEFULLY on Hockey TV (been a lot of technical issues getting the games on their lately), or on the MixLR app.
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