LATE RALLY PUSHES BOBCATS PAST DARTMOUTH, INTO SEMIFINALS
QUISPAMSIS, N.B. – Ty Smith had a goal and two assists in a three-goal second period, and the Lloydminster Bobcats used two goals in the final 38 seconds to edge the Dartmouth Major Midgets 5-4 on Thursday afternoon at the 2016 TELUS Cup.
The win clinched a semifinal spot for the Bobcats, while the winless Major Midgets were eliminated from playoff contention.
After Chase Wouters tied the game for Lloydminster with 38 seconds to go, Dartmouth – needing the full two points – pulled goaltender Aidan Hosein, and Bryce Kindopp hit the empty net with 11 ticks left.
Logan Ganie and Jaxan Kaluski also scored for the Bobcats, who are the 10th Pacific Region team in 11 years to qualify for the final four.
For the Major Midgets, Brock McLeod, Peter Diliberatore and Brett Thorne had a goal and a helper apiece, with the other goal coming from Luke MacMillan.
Despite 28 shots in the opening period – 18-10 in favour of Lloydminster – fans at the qplex would have to wait until the 17:50 mark for the game’s first goal; Thorne fired a one-timer inside the far post past Lloydminster netminder Austin McGrath with the Major Midgets enjoying a five-on-three power play.
Dartmouth doubled its lead 2:21 into the second after a slap shot from Diliberatore deflected off Smith, then off the end glass before hitting McGrath and going in, but Smith answered 2:09 later to cut the deficit to one.
Smith set up the tying goal at 13:16, taking the point shot that Kaluski tipped past Hosein.
The Major Midgets quickly answered, with MacMillan poke-checking the puck off a Bobcats defender before snapping a shot out of the reach of McGrath, but Ganie tapped in a no-look pass from Smith on a Lloydminster power play with 1:52 to go in the middle frame to send the game to the intermission tied 3-3.
McLeod knocked in a power-play goal at the side of the net at 3:25 of the third period, giving Dartmouth its third lead, and it looked like Hosein – who made 43 saves – would get the Atlantic representatives their first win.
But Wouters batted down a point shot from T.J. Lloyd to tie the game with 38 seconds left and McGrath on the bench, and Kindopp’s empty-netter sealed the victory for the Pacific champions.
Lloydminster will play for placement in Friday’s preliminary-round finale against the North York Rangers (9:30 a.m. AT), while the Major Midgets will play for pride in their final game against the Saskatoon Contacts (1 p.m. AT).