(Photo: Troy Young)
WICHITA FALLS, Texas – Austin Beaulieu potted a pair and Austin Shaw made 30 saves, as the Wichita Falls Wildcats fought past the Topeka Roadrunners, 3-1, at the Kay Yeager Coliseum on Friday night.
Cam Knight also had a big night, registering a goal and an assist, while Matt Koch and Colin Staub each tallied a helper as well.
The first ten minutes played out evenly with the two teams trading a couple of quality looks, but the Wildcats were the first to cash in on their chances at the 11:30 mark.
After a Topeka turnover in the neutral zone, Staub picked up the loose puck and raced down the right-wing wall. Taking the puck wide, he created enough space to turn the corner on his defenseman, and played a saucer pass to Beaulieu on the left-hand post, who turned it home for his second of the year.
Wichita Falls had multiple good looks in the second period, with Kevin Charyszyn and Evan Okeley creating one-on-one chances for themselves with Matej Tomek, but both times Tomek was equal to the task to keep the score at 1-0 entering the third.
In the final frame, Beaulieu doubled the ‘Cats’ advantage on a goal created by two Alabama Huntsville commits. Knight collected the back on the right side of the defensive blue and picked out a great pass to Beaulieu at the offensive blue line. The forward skated into the zone all alone and beat Tomek for his second of the night.
After a pair of penalties on Wichita Falls, Topeka almost leveled the affair. Daniel Rzavsky scored on a five-on-three power play to make it 2-1 Wildcats. Over three minutes of major penalty time remained after that goal, but Shaw stood tall in net, turning aside chance after chance to help the ‘Cats kill off the penalty.
Knight finished off the contest for the Wildcats with 13 seconds remaining, as he sent the puck into an empty net from the point to make it 3-1.
The Wildcats return to the ice for a Saturday matinee when they drop the puck against the Roadrunners on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. Fans that cannot make it to the KYC can follow all the action on FASTHockey.com, with an audio-only broadcast available via YouTube.
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Wichita Falls – Austin Beaulieu (Colin Staub) 11:30
Wichita Falls – Austin Beaulieu (Cam Knight, Matt Koch) 11:39
Topeka – Daniel Rzavsky (power play) (Ryan Polin) 14:00
Wichita Falls – Cam Knight (unassisted) 19:47