A strong third period was too little too late for the Lloydminster Bobcats Wednesday night at the Centennial Civic Centre.
Hosting the Spruce Grove Saints in game number three of their five game homestand, the Bobcats dropped a 3-1 decision to the visitors.
The contest started out evenly with both teams generating chances.
However, just past the midway point of the first, it was the Saints making the most of an opportunity first.
Chris Van Os-Shaw continued his tremendous start to his AJHL career, scoring 11:33 into the hockey game.
The goal extended Van Os-Shaw point streak to 11 straight games to begin the year.
With the score still 1-0 after one period of play, the Saints managed to increase their lead in the middle frame.
Outshooting the Bobcats 14-4 in the second, Jarrod Gourley found the back of the net on a power-play for Spruce Grove, and Garan Magnes buried a 2-on-1 opportunity later in the frame, giving the Saints a 3-0 advantage after two.
Trying to avoid falling to the Saints for the second time in seven days, the Bobcats came out with plenty of energy for the final 20 minutes.
Just 50 seconds into the period, Cole Johnson put home a loose puck at the side of the Spruce Grove goal to trim the lead to 3-1.
Later in the third, tempers began to flare. Bobcats forward Rob Johnson was hit awkwardly into the board by Saints defenceman Jarrod Gourley sparking multiple fights to break out after the whistle.
When all the dust settled, it was back to 5-on-5 hockey with 5:38 left to play in regulation.
Despite outshooting the Saints 9-3 in the final frame, the Bobcats were unable to get anything else past Spruce Grove goalie Nolan Kent, as the Saints held on for a 3-1 win.
Bobcats goaltender Pierce Diamond, who was making his fourth straight start for Lloydminster since being acquired by Calgary, turned aside 25 of 28 shots.
The Bobcats finished the game 0 for 4 on the power-play, while the Saints went 1 for 3.
Lloydminster will be back in action on Saturday when they host the Calgary Canucks at 7:30pm at the Civic Centre.
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