WICHITA FALLS, Texas – Behind a strong performance by David Zevnik in net and goals from five different skaters, the Wichita Falls Wildcats bested the Amarillo Bulls, 5-2 at the Kay Yeager Coliseum on Friday night.
Kevin Charyszyn and Austin Albrecht each had a goal and an assists, while Max Reisinger, Jonny Lazarus and Colin Staub also potted a goal for Wichita Falls. Evan Okeley and Matt Koch both had assists to continue their respective point-streaks, and Shane Kuzmeski tallied an assist as well. Zevnik made 29 saves on 31 shots to earn his third win of the season
The Wildcats controlled the first 20 minutes of play, outshooting the Bulls 21-6 in the frame, but Anton Martinsson turned aside high-quality scoring chances by Lazarus and Litviak to keep the contest scoreless.
The breakthrough for Wichita Falls came early in the second period, and before anyone could blink an eye, the lead was 2-0.
First, Lazarus found the back of the net on a deflection. After gaining the zone on a solid rush, Lazarus worked the puck to the half-wall and skated towards the front of the net. As the puck moved to the blue line, Jake Townsend blasted a one-timer from the right point that Lazarus tipped home for his second tally of the year.
Moments later, Reisinger doubled the edge on the power play. A flurry of shots were turned aside by Martinsson in the Amarillo cage, but he could not prevent Reisinger from popping it home upstairs out of the mayhem in front for his seventh tally of the year.
The Bulls cut the lead in half at the 8:36 mark of the frame, as a cross-ice pass from Charlie Combs pinballed through traffic and behind Zevnik, but the Wildcats netminder held strong for the remainder of the period to keep it 2-1.
Wichita Falls quickly restored its two-goal lead at the start of third however. With just 50 seconds played, Charyszyn banked the puck off Martinsson in close to claim up his team-leading tenth goal of the season to make it 3-1.
Staub then stretched the lead to 4-1 on a great individual effort. The veteran winger gained the zone with a head full of steam along the right side. After a quick deke to get past the defenseman in front of him, Staub curled behind the net and stuffed a wrap-around chance home from his knees for his third goal of the season.
The Bulls pulled one closer when AJ Duggan wristed home from the slot after a broken play, but Albrecht quickly dispelled any notions of a comeback, beating Martinsson between the legs at 15:42 of the frame as the ‘Cats coasted home to a 5-2 victory.
The Wildcats and Bulls resume their weekend set on Saturday on Military Appreciation Night presented by The Ford House – Wichita Falls Ford Lincoln. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m. at the KYC, with free admission available for anyone with valid military ID, including active and retired personnel and their families. Fans that cannot make it to the game can follow all the action on FASTHockey.com, with an audio-only broadcast available via YouTube.
Single-game tickets for the 2014-15 Wildcats season are on sale now at the Kay Yeager Coliseum box office. Stay updated on the latest team news and notes by connecting with the Wildcats on Facebook (WFWildcats), Twitter (@WFWildcats), Instagram (WFWildcats) and on YouTube (Wichita Falls Wildcats).
NOTES: The win was the Wildcats’ first at home against Amarillo since a 3-2 triumph on February 7, 2012…with an assist tonight, Evan Okeley extended his point-streak to a career-best five games (2-7-9)…Charyszyn also extended his point-streak in the game; he now has points in six-straight games (6-3-9) in that span…
Wichita Falls – Jonathan Lazarus (Matt Koch, Nikita Litviak) 2:09
Wichita Falls – Max Reisinger (power play) (Shane Kuzmeski, Evan Okeley) 4:44
Amarillo – Cody Gylling (unassisted) 8:36
Wichita Falls – Kevin Charyszyn (Austin Albrecht) 0:50
Wichita Falls – Colin Staub (unassisted) 11:17
Amarillo – AJ Duggan (Brady Crabtree, JJ Huerena) 14:49
Wichita Falls – Austin Albrecht (Kevin Charyszyn) 15:42