Bantam AAA Bobcats captain Jayven Leslie breaks into the Golden Hawks zone. JAMIE HARKINS LLS PHOTO
An inability to play 60 full minutes came back to bite the Lloydminster bantam AAA Fountain Tire Bobcats.
The Bobcats gave up six third-period goals in a 9-5 loss to the Lethbridge Val Matteoti Golden Hawks at the Centennial Civic Centre on Sunday.
The home side enjoyed a 5-3 lead going into the final frame, only to surrender five unanswered markers in the first six minutes of the period.
“We got away from our game, simple as that,” said Bobcats head coach Curtis Johnson. “The first two periods we were skating, we wanted to be first on the puck, we had guys in the right positions and we trusted (one another). We reverted from that.”
Johnson said the Hawks (5-2-1) outworked them in the third period and their support systems, the second and third guys on defence, didn’t cover up.
He said in the opening 40 minutes they countered the Hawks attack, but six goals against happens when a team loses the final 20.
“There is going to be peaks and there is going to be valleys,” said Johnson. “It’s a young group and there are lots of things we need to work on. But, (there are) positive things as we played 40 minutes of great hockey.”
The Bobcats (1-4) battled the Hawks to a 1-1 draw through the opening frame with Lethbridge’s Cole Larocque notching the first marker before Chase Renton provided a reply off a stretch pass from defenceman Max Mills.
The Hawks’ Conner Furukawa and Logan Christie gave their team a 3-1 lead with man advantage markers early in the second period, only to see the Bobcats battle back on goals by Jagger Firkus and Jayven Leslie.
Renton then gave the Bobcats a 4-3 lead 5:15 into the middle frame by poking an Erick Roest rebound into an open side with Jax Brown doubling it 12 minutes later on an attempted pass into the slot from behind the Hawks net that deflected off a body in front into the cage.
Bobcats goalie Lowen Kenyon made the come back possible by standing tall in his net during the middle part of the second period stoning Hawks forward Brody Tallman on a chance in close and making a sliding pad save on a Rylan Bruns shot moments later.
Hawks forward Joel Mabin opened the floodgates 1:27 into the third by potting a rebound past Kenyon before Furukawa tied the score at the 3:19 mark.
Furukawa notched the game winner and the third of his four goals just over a minute later when he one timed a pass into the slot from Nathan Bohmer glove side.
“You have to take the positives from the game, but you have to learn from your mistakes,” said Johnson.
“So, we’ll break it down in video again and work on some stuff in the D zone. Just finding consistency is going to be the biggest thing for these guys.”