By Robert Murray, Fort McMurray Today
The Lloydminster Bobcats evened up their Alberta Junior Hockey League North Division semi-final Monday night with a 3-0 victory over the Fort McMurray Oil Barons at the Centennial Civic Centre in Lloydminster.
“The effort started off well in the first, then took a bunch of stupid penalties and as it happens, get outworked on the special teams, which hasn’t been a surprise for the last three or four games,” said Oil Barons head coach Gord Thibodeau. “You can have all the skill in the world, the skill right now is not doing a whole bunch for us.”
The Bobcats came out firing in the first period, scoring three power play goals in a span of 4:55 to take control of the game.
The Oil Barons parade to the penalty box began at the 11:45 mark of the first period after forward Brennan Saulnier went to the box for a blow to the head that also earned him a 10 minute misconduct. Saulnier was joined in the box by teammate Ryan Bloom shortly afterward.
With the Oil Barons down two men, the Bobcats struck just 16 seconds into the five-on-three as a rebound from Tanner Jaillet came right to Austin McDonald who buried his fourth goal of the series and seventh goal of the post- season to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead.
Still down a man, a shot from the point by Bobcats Linden Springer just over a minute later found its way past Jaillet to double the Bobcats lead.
With the Oil Barons down a man again late in the first, Lukas Biensch scored to make the game 3-0 in favour of the Bobcats. The score would hold up as the final
When the Oil Barons did manage a chance on net, Bobcats net minder Christopher Tai was there to shut the door. The goaltender stopped all 31 shots he faced to pick up his first AJHL playoff shutout since March 6 against the Whitecourt Wolverines.
Tanner Jaillet made 21 saves in the loss. Monday night was the fifth time Jaillet has allowed three goals in a game this playoffs.
Game seven of the series will take place Wednesday night at the Casman Centre in Fort McMurray. Puck drop is scheduled for 8 p.m.
Photo credit: Robert Murray/Fort McMurray Today