BACK-TO-BACK GOALS IN THIRD PERIOD GIVE BOBCATS FIRST WIN
QUISPAMSIS, N.B. – Ty Smith scored the winner with 6:08 to go, helping the Lloydminster Bobcats to their first win of the 2016 TELUS Cup, 4-3 over the Saskatoon Contacts on Wednesday afternoon.
The Bobcats improved their record to 1-1-1, temporarily moving into a third-place tie with the host Saint John Vito’s with three points apiece.
Smith hammered a slap shot from the point that eluded Contacts goaltender Isaac LaBelle, completing Lloydminster’s comeback from a goal down with 16 minutes to go.
Zane Franklin and Bryce Kindopp paced the Bobcats offence with a goal and an assist each, Parker Saretsky added three helpers, and Chase Wouters chipped in with two assists.
Chance Adrian, Brody Vogel and Brett Hamm had the goals for Saskatoon, which became the first West Region champion to go winless in its first three games since the Beardy’s Blackhawks in 2001.
Dane Dow got his first start of the tournament in the Lloydminster goal and made 21 saves for the win, while LaBelle was the tough-luck loser for the second day in a row; after making 48 stops in a loss to Lac St-Louis on Tuesday, he turned aside 41 of 44 against the Bobcats.
Adrian started the scoring just 2:09 in, beating Dow under the crossbar and finally ending Saskatoon’s tournament-opening scoring drought at just over 122 minutes.
Lloydminster’s answer came exactly two minutes later when Kindopp capitalized on a rebound from in close on a Bobcats power play, but the Contacts replied on a man advantage of their own, with Vogel scoring to send Saskatoon to the first intermission up 2-1.
Jaxan Kaluski got the lone goal in the second period, picking up a rebound off the end-boards and going five-hole on LaBelle to pull Lloydminster even midway through the middle frame.
Hamm gave the Contacts their third one-goal lead just 2:32 into the third, one-timing a shot past Dow on another Saskatoon power play, but Franklin beat LaBelle from the hashmarks at 4:08 to tie the game again.
Smith’s game-winner capped a busy third period that included a combined 28 shots on goal.
Overall, the Bobcats finished with a 44-24 advantage in shots.
Lloydminster will look to get a win streak going Thursday when it takes on the winless Dartmouth Major Midgets (noon AT), while Saskatoon faces the host Saint John Vito’s, still in search of its first win. (7:30 p.m. AT).