The playoffs got underway Thursday night for the Lloydminster Bobcats in Whitecourt. Unfortunately for the Cats, they found themselves on the wrong side of a 4-2 score.
Playing Game 1 of their best of five series, some early penalty trouble ultimately became too much for the Cats to overcome.
The Wolverines netted a pair of power-play goals in the first period to jump out to a 2-0 advantage.
Then just 30 seconds into the second period, the Wolverines extended their lead to 3-0 when a Ryan Grant point-shot found its way through multiple bodies and past Bobcat’s goalie Bailey Brkin.
However, despite the deficit, the Cats were able to respond.
On a power-play of their own, Kobe Walker fed Zach Kaiser in the slot and the Orangeville, Ontario product made no mistake to get Lloydminster on the board.
Then just under two minutes later, Tucker Scantlebury fired a shot on net that deflected off a Whitecourt stick and past Xavier Potvin to trim the Wolverine’s lead to 3-2, which is where the score remained after two periods of play.
Despite only leading by one goal after two, the Wolverines began to show dominance throughout the final period. Out-shooting the Bobcats 19-4 in the third frame, Brayden Labant netted the only goal of the period with just over two and a half minutes remaining to help secure a Whitecourt Game 1 win.
Bailey Brkin made 42 saves in goal for Lloydminster, while Potvin stopped 17 shots.
The Cats went 1 for 5 on the power-play, with the Wolverines finishing 2 for 7 with he man-advantage.
Game 2 of the series will be played Friday night in Whitecourt with puck drop set for 7:30.
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