Friday, 10.30.2015 / 9:33 pm CT
By Alex von Keudell
The Wichita Falls Wildcats improved to 4-0 at the KYC this season upon their defeat of the Corpus Christi IceRays at the Kay Yeager Coliseum on Friday night, as they took down the Rays by a score of 3-1.
The IceRays had been eyeing revenge after making the eight hour road trip from southern Texas to take on the Wildcats. The last time these two teams met, things got ugly in a hurry for Corpus Christi. They were defeated 7-1 in their own building by the Cats, and were handed a suspension to one of their captains, Brad LeLievre. The Cats spoiled the Rays’ hopes for vengeance.
Just five minutes into the game, Nick Rosa set up Ryan Burnett in the mid-slot, who sniped a shot off the post and into the goal past IceRay goaltender Dryden McKay. The goal would be Burnett’s second as a Wildcat, and would earn him 2nd Star of the Game honors.
Burnett’s tally would stand for nearly a full 20 minutes of hockey before the Cats earned their first power play of the game late in the second period. Jonny Lazarus displayed incredible patience with the puck, carrying it behind the net and into the slot before setting up Nikita Litviak for a tap-in goal. Thanks to the effort from the veteran wingers, the Wildcats’ man-advantage remains red-hot.
A sign of a good power play is one that not only converts, but that builds momentum. This power play did just that. On the very next shift after the power play goal, Austin Beaulieu redirected an André Pison wrist shot past McKay to give the Cats a commanding 3-0 lead.
The lead would stand until nearly the final minute of period 3, when Regen Cavanagh capitalized off a Wildcat turnover to bury a rebound past Julian Sime. The young goaltender’s shutout bid fell just short, but his 15 saves earned him First Star of the Game honors.
Sime made 15 saves in the win, while McKay made 18 saves in the loss. The Cats and Rays meet again at the KYC Saturday night at 7:05 pm CT. In-house trick-or-treating will take place before the game, and children in costume will be allowed free entry with a paying adult.
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