(Photo: Troy Young)
Blaine, Minn. – Wichita Falls (4-0-1) battled hard but came up just short against the Coulee Region Chill (3-0-0) on Friday, losing 4-3 in overtime.
Jordan Jancze scored his first goal as a member of the Wildcats in the contest, while Ben Kucera and Colin Staub also picked up tallies for Wichita Falls.
The Wildcats got the scoring going early in the first period thanks to a shorthanded effort from Jancze. With Nick Farmer in the box, Jancze poked the puck out of the defensive zone and rushed onto it with Tyler Ledford to his right. His centering feed was blocked, but Jancze followed up with a shot that trickled through Blake Cates to give Wichita Falls a 1-0 lead. It was Jancze’s first career North American Hockey League goal.
With the period winding down, the Cats made it 2-0 on the power play. Jake Townsend pulled the puck off the right wall and sent it to Sam Piazza at the left point. Piazza fed an inch-perfect pass down low to Kucera on the back door, who stashed it home for his second goal of the year.
Coulee Region came back with two goals of their own in the second period. First, Jesse Tredinnick intercepted a pass at the blue line and raced ahead shorthanded, beating Zevnik to make it 2-1. Then, Less than 45 seconds later, the Chill tied the score after a defensive-zone turnover from the Wildcats led to a shot from point. Zevnik made the initial save, but could not keep James McGing from stuffing home the rebound to tie the score at two.
Staub restored the Wildcats’ advantage as the second frame ticked to a close, beating Cates with a wrist shot over the glove from the right circle to make it 3-2. It was his second goal of the season, with Kyle Bauman picking up the assist.
Coulee Region tied the score early in the third period on strange circumstances, taking advantage of some miscommunication behind the Wichita Falls net to score from in close to make it 3-3. John Serverson received credit for the goal.
The game headed to overtime, where Bauman had a chance to win it for Wichita Falls. He stick-handled his way past two defenders and ripped a shot from the faceoff dot, only to be denied by the glove hand of Cates.
Moments later, Richard Zehnal won the game for Coulee Region, rushing end-to-end and beating Zevnik to the top corner.
Wichita Falls will look to rebound from the overtime defeat when they tackle the Austin Bruins on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the fourth and final game of the 2013 NAHL Showcase.
Wichita Falls – Jordan Jancze (short-handed) (unassisted) 4:16
Wichita Falls – Ben Kucera (power play) (Sam Piazza, Jake Townsend) 18:23
Coulee Region – Jesse Tredinnick (short-handed) (unassisted) 8:44
Coulee Region – James McGing (Griff Jeszka) 9:25
Wichita Falls – Colin Staub (Kyle Bauman) 19:41
Coulee Region – John Severson (Jesse Tredinnick) 2:08
Coulee Region – Richard Zehnal (unassisted) 1:01