Bobcats Year in Review

The Lloydminster Bobcats season has come to an end, after a game six overtime loss in a very hard fought, back and forth series between the Bonnyville Pontiacs in the second round of the AJHL Gas Drive Playoffs. The Bobcats’ post-season run saw them take on the Whitecourt Wolverines in the opening round. The team lost game one in overtime, but rallied back with three straight wins (including two on the road) to take the series and advance to the second round for a second straight year. The outcome was not what the Bobcats would have liked, but it was a tremendous effort from this young group who went up against a veteran Bonnyville squad. With 21 of 22 players eligible to return for the 2015-16 season and an automatic berth in the 2016 RBC Cup as the host team, next year is shaping up to one of the most exciting seasons in franchise history.

We would like to thank all of our coaching staff and players for their hard work in what turned out to be a tremendous season. A special thank you goes out to the lone 20 year old on the roster, Goaltender Devin Green, who spent over two and a half seasons with the Bobcats setting multiple franchise records in his position. It has been a pleasure watching you grow as a goaltender and as a person here in Lloydminster!
Fans looking for one last Bobcats fix can head down to the Civic Centre from April 3rd to 5th for spring camp to catch a glimpse at next year’s recruiting class.

Coach/GM Garry VanHereweghe on a successful 2014-15 season:
“The Bobcats team should be categorized as a young and inexperienced team containing 16 players 18 years old or younger. The organization’s decision to move experienced 20 year olds in December and January created both an opportunity and a challenge for the younger more inexperienced players. The players as individuals and as a team responded exceptionally well and gained the valuable experience that will build this team towards becoming a very competitive contender as we enter the 2015-16 season as the host team for the 2016 RBC Cup.”

2014-15 Season Highlights:
– Going to Game 6 against the Bonnyville Pontiacs in the second round. This was the first ever meeting between these two clubs in the post-season. A back and forth series which saw some great hockey along with some amazing crowds in both rinks!
– Winning the opening round match-up against the Whitecourt Wolverines for a second straight year. The ‘Cats lost the opening game at home in overtime, but managed to win 3 straight to take the series in 4 games.
– Rookie Forward Kevin Darrar announced to the AJHL North Division All Rookie Team.
– Three players commit with NCAA Division 1 Scholarships. Kevin Darrar (Holy Cross), Troy Van Tetering (University of Alaska Fairbanks), and Shane Switzer (Boston University), with three others pending.
– Clinching 2nd place in the North Division in the final game of the season. The last time the Bobcats finished in second was in 1999-00 as the Lloydminster Blazers. Being down one point to the Pontiacs, it came down to the final period of the season for the Bobcats who needed a win. They would do so with a 4-2 road victory over the Fort McMurray Oil Barons.
– Topping last year’s regular season point total, finishing with 72 points compared to 68 points in 2013-14.
– Forward Kevin Darrar named AJHL Player of the Week; January 19th to 25th.
– January 9th, against the Spruce Grove Saints, Taylor Mulder would wear the ‘C’ for the first time, and officially named as the Bobcats new team Captain.
– The Bobcats host the Sears Atom Tier 3 Blazers for a practice part of the ‘On The Bench Contest’ with Home Depot.
– Post-Game skates with the team, where fans got to meet and be on the ice with players on three different occasions; Christmas Skate, Halloween Skate and September Meet and Greet skate.
– For a second straight year, the team takes a trip to the University of North Dakota, watching two UND games against Miami (Ohio) and touring the UND facility and campus.
-Devin Green sets franchise record for career shutouts with 5 in a 20 save performance against the Canmore Eagles at Showcase weekend. Green would end the year with a career total of 11 shutouts and would lead the AJHL and CJHL with 7 shutouts on the season.
– Bobcats hold annual Evening of Champions dinner. Guest speakers included former NHL’ers Chris Chelios, Jason Strudwick and comedian Andrew Grose.
– Kyle Harris airs his first-ever radio broadcast of a Bobcats game on 95.9 LLOYD FM on August 30th, a 2-1 exhibition game overtime loss to the Camrose Kodiaks.
– Bobcats take on the Denmark National Junior Team at an exhibition game tournament on August 29th in Camrose and manage to force overtime before falling 3-2.
– Numerous community appearances throughout the season. 36 community events totalling 263 player and coach appearances.
– City of Lloydminster in June announced as the host city for the 2016 Royal Bank Cup, the Jr. ‘A’ National Championship.

Season Tickets
Don’t forget that season tickets for 2014-15 are already on sale and can be purchased HERE:
See you next season, Lloydminster. GO CATS GO!!!