Tuesday’s contest marks the eighth meeting between Wichita Falls and Amarillo this season, and is the fourth-straight tilt between the two squads. The Wildcats own a 6-1-0 mark against the Bulls in head-to-head tilts, and are averaging 5.57 goals per game against their North Texas rivals. The red-and-black recently claimed a weekend sweep over the Bulls, notching a 7-4 road win this past Friday and an 8-5 triumph at home on Saturday to avenge a 6-3 loss on New Year’s Eve. Nick Farmer and Kevin Charyszyn have both relished the meetings against Amarillo this year; Farmer owns a 6-5-11 line in seven games played against the Bulls, while Charyszyn is close behind with nine points on six goals and three assists. The ‘Cats are 14-25-1 against Amarillo dating back to 2010, and are 7-12-1 all-time against the Bulls at the Kay Yeager Coliseum, but Wichita Falls has won seven of the last eight regular-season meetings between the two teams.
The Bulls enter Tuesday’s contest sitting in seventh in the South Division with a record of 12-17-3 and 27 points through 32 games played. After struggling to a 2-7-0 record in November, Amarillo found its stride in December, posting a 5-1-1 mark last month. The Bulls recently posted a five-game winning streak at home, but have had difficulty on the road this year, recording a 3-11-1 mark away from the Amarillo Civic Center. Veteran forward Cody Gylling currently leads the Amarillo attack with a 14-10-24 line in 32 games played, followed closely by Will Harrison (12-9-21), while defenseman Kasper Emanuelsson has chipped in 19 points (three goals, 16 assists) from the blue line. The Bulls have relied on an even rotation in net this season, with Jacob Weatherly and Anton Martinsson seeing almost identical minutes to date. Weatherly is 6-8-3 with a 3.68 goals against average and .889 save percentage in 20 games played, while Martinsson owns a 6-8-0 mark, 3.81 GAA and .891 Sv% in 18 appearances.
A Wild Weekend
The Wildcats enter Tuesday’s tilt against Amarillo fresh from a weekend sweep of the Bulls. Paced by back-to-back three-point performances by Nick Farmer, Wichita Falls registered a 7-4 win in the Texas Panhandle on Friday evening, as Farmer posted two goals and an assist and Matt Koch notched a goal and two assists as well. Returning home to the Kay Yeager Coliseum the next night, the ‘Cats used seven-unanswered tallies to turn an early 4-1 deficit into an 8-5 triumph, with Farmer again providing an offensive spark with a goal and two assists. Defenseman Jake Townsend registered three points (2-1-3) in the win as well, while David Zevnik earned the win with 21 saves in relief.
‘Runners on the Horizon
Following Tuesday’s contest against the Bulls, the Wildcats will look forward to two top-of-the-table tilts against the Topeka RoadRunners on Friday and Saturday night. The ‘Runners currently lead the South Division with 55 points, and are nine points ahead of Wichita Falls, but the Wildcats do hold five games-in-hand on Topeka. The upcoming two-game set will mark the fifth and sixth matchups of the year between the two squads, with each team owning a 2-2-0 mark in head-to-head competition. The ‘Cats swept Topeka in the first meetings of the year between the two teams with 3-1 and 5-1 wins on Sept. 26 and 27, respectively, but the ‘Runners turned the tables on Wichita Falls with a two-game sweep of the red-and-black in the Kansas capital on Dec. 27 and 28.
Protecting Home Ice
The Wildcats opened their season-long, eight-game home-stand with an 8-5 win over the Amarillo Bulls this past Friday, and made team history in the process. The win marked the ninth-consecutive victory at the Kay Yeager Coliseum for Wichita Falls, setting a new franchise-record for consecutive home wins. The new mark of nine-straight wins at the KYC surpassed the old record of eight home wins in succession, set from Dec. 8, 2007 to Jan. 19, 2008. The red-and-black currently boast a 12-2-0 record at the KYC this season.
Six-Goal Second Sets Record
In addition to setting a new record for most consecutive home wins in their 8-5 win over Amarillo, the Wildcats also penned a new line in their history books with an offensive explosion in the second period. Wichita Falls posted six goals in the middle frame of that contest, which stands as the most goals scored in a single period in team history. The previous high-water mark for most goals in a single period was five, which the red-and-black achieved on three occasions, most recently in a 6-3 win over the New Mexico Mustangs on Jan. 6, 2012.
The Wildcats are pleased to once again be partnering with Children’s Miracle Network and the United Regional Foundation for the return of Jersey Off Our Back weekend when the Wildcats host the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees on Jan. 16 and 17. Wichita Falls will don customized, Children’s Miracle Network-themed jerseys for both of those contests, with the jerseys being auctioned off following the conclusion of the game on Jan. 17. All proceeds will go to support Children’s Miracle Network at United Regional Health Care System.