Friday, 02.03.2017 / 10:32 pm CT
By Alex von Keudell / Photo: Tracey Koby
Facing the hottest team in the NAHL, the Wildcats let a two-goal lead slip away as they were disappointed on home ice in a 4-3 defeat to the Lone Star Brahmas.
The Cats dominated the opening shift of the game, setting the tone early. Nick Rosa nearly scored just seconds into the contest after he was given a backdoor pass by Jonathan Waring, but he barely missed the net wide with a no-look backhand shot.
At the end of an unrelenting Wildcats power play which kept the puck in the Brahmas’ zone for the entire duration, Ryan Burnett cleaned up a loose puck to score his team-leading fifth power play goal and open the scoring.
Less than three minutes later, Wyatt Mathews released a long wrist shot from the left point. The puck found its way through a decent chunk of traffic and was blocked down in front of the net. Kevin Fees located it and slipped it through Alec Calvaruso’s five-hole to double the Wildcats’ lead.
After a convincingly dominant first period, the Wildcats grew complacent and the Brahmas bulldozed their way back into the game. At 6:12 of the second period, Austin Kamer unleashed a wrist shot off an offensive zone faceoff win and beat Evan Moyse over the glove. Just 21 seconds later, Julian Biondo scored off a hurried shot from the left circle which flew past Moyse’s blocker.
Kamer would add his second goal of the night on a 2-on-1 shorthanded rush following a Wildcats turnover. Late in the period, Troy York found himself on a breakaway and ripped a shot past Moyse to double the Brahmas’ lead. All of the sudden, the Cats found themselves trailing 4-2 heading into the second intermission.
The third period flew by quietly, with quality scoring chances few and far between. Moyse kept the Wildcats within striking distance. With just over two minutes remaining, the puck found Tillie right between the circles. Tillie buried it past Calvaruso to draw to within one. However, it was too little, too late.
Moyse was charged with his sixth defeat of the season, stopping 25 of 29 shots. Calvaruso earned his 19th victory of the season, turning aside 24 of 27. The Wildcats will rematch the Brahmas tomorrow night at Kay Yeager Coliseum. Puck drops at 7:05 pm CT.