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AUDIO & RECAP: Cats pounce on wounded MOB 4-1

(Photo Supplied: Oil Barons forward Ben Sharf looks to score against the Lloydminster Bobcats at the Casman Centre on January 19, 2016. Dan Lines / FORT MCMURRAY OIL BARONS)

AUDIO: Oil Barons Head Coach Tom Keca discusses a 4-1 loss to the Lloydminster Bobcats on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016.

Kris Spriggs had half of Lloydminster’s goal production as the Bobcats walked out of the Casman Centre with a 4-1 victory Tuesday night. Ex-MOB Head Coach Gord Thibodeau picked up a win in his return to his old stomping grounds.

“I thought that the effort was better if we compare it to what we got on the weekend definitely, I thought that our guys battled a little bit harder, I thought that we were a little bit smarter,” said Oil Barons Head Coach Tom Keca. “I think the most frustrating thing for is just for whatever reason we just seem to get everything blocked and no matter what another team shoots it happens to go through and it forces our goaltender to make a stop.”

Lloydminster also saw goals from Noah Bauld and an empty-netter by Christian Lloyd.

Jackson McKinstry scored the lone goal for the MOB his second in back-to-back games.

The Oil Barons managed to keep pace with the Bobcats through most of the game clawing to within a goal midway through the second period. It wasn’t until late in the third that Bauld’s marker put the game out of reach.

Fort McMurray was simply outmatched against the 2016 RBC Cup hosts.

Lloydminster outshot McMurray by a 34-21 margin as Eric Szudor made 30 saves on 33 opportunities. Alex Leclerc looked shaky on a number of long shots but was incredible in the final moments as the Oil Barons pushed for an equalizer.

The Oil Barons had a pair of affiliated players in the lineup in MacKenzie Mindus and McMurray product Quinton Sudom. The two Midget AAA players saw a regular shift throughout most of the game and didn’t disappoint on the fourth line with Jason Hamilton.

“I think it’s great for Quinton Sudom to get in that’s a local player […] we have big plans for him he’s had a great year playing Midget AAA in Fort Saskatchewan I know what type of kid he is he works extremely hard away from the rink,” said Keca.

Both teams had three power-play opportunities with Lloydminster scoring the only goal on the man-advantage.

Keca also gave an update on Mark Drohan, it was announced on deadline day that the 17-year-old defenceman was going to rejoin the club but according to Keca, Drohan has changed his tune.

“It’s unfortunate because he reached out to us before the deadline, wanted us to consider bringing him back we did and when we sort of outlined what our expectations were and things like that Mark felt it wasn’t in his best interest to come back. Mark is going to concentrate on schooling and that’s sort of where we are.”

The Oil Barons are in Drayton Valley for a pair of road games on Friday and Saturday. Both games are scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.