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Cook-ing up a win

The Wildcats ended their five game losing skid on Saturday night with a 4-2 win down in South Texas against the Corpus Christi Ice Rays.  Kyle Bauman had a pair of goals, and Cooper Cook stopped 37 of 39 shots in his first start in goal since September.

Friday night's game was a debacle from start to finish as the Wildcats dropped a 7-2 decision to the Ice Rays.  Emil Romig scored for the Ice Rays 28 seconds in as they jumped out to a 4-0 lead before the Wildcats finally got on the board as a puck was knocked in by an Ice Rays defenseman.  Erik Ouellette was the last Wildcat to touch the puck.  Rudy Junda added one later in the third for a 5-2 game with just over 6 minutes to go, but Corpus Christi tacked on two more late in the game for the 7-2 final.

Saturday's game showed a much more alert and focused team as they picked up their first regulation win since September 13, taking a 4-2 decision.  The hitting was fierce early on, eventually leading to Corey Schafer and Brandon Berkley dropping the gloves off a faceoff.  Schafer suffered a cut lip, but landed some big shots on Berkley, which seemed to fire the team up.  Just three minutes later, the Wildcats responded with a powerplay goal by Kyle Bauman for a 1-0 lead.  Not even two minutes later, a miscue behind the net by Ice Rays goalie Ben Myers led to a Patrick Yudez steal, feeding the puck to Nick Farmer who punched it into a wide-open net for a 2-0 lead.

The Ice Rays turned up the heat in the second period, outshooting the Wildcats 18-6, but Cook stopped everything thrown his way.  Neither team managed any scoring until a Corpus Christi powerplay early in the third as Ian McGilvrey broke the shutout.  But the Wildcats didn't take long to respond: 11 seconds after that, an Ice Rays defensive zone breakdown led to Bauman's second goal of the night for a 3-1 lead.

Corpus Christi mounted a late comeback attempt as Rudy Sulmonte scored, but the Wildcats' defense held tough in the final minutes, aided by a late Ice Rays penalty.  Eliot Grauer added an empty net goal to cap things at 4-2.

Colin Staub also picked up a pair of assists, one on each of Bauman's goals.  Bauman and Staub were named first and third stars, respectively, while Corpus Christi's John Roisum was the second.

The Wildcats face the Texas Tornado this week at home on Friday and Saturday.  They'll face the Tornado again on Sunday in Frisco.