The Wildcats remain two points out of the playoffs as they extended their non-loss streak to seven games before dropping a pair of games in Amarillo over the weekend. On Wednesday, the Wildcats took home a 3-0 win in Odessa, extending their winning streak to nine games against their beleaguered foes from West Texas.
It took nearly two periods for the Wildcats to get on the board, but with 3:12 left in the second period, Kyle Bauman scored on the power play for a 1-0 lead. That proved to be enough, as the Wildcats added on third period insurance tallies from Sam Piazza and Tyler Ledford to preserve Evan Cowley’s second career shutout in the NAHL. He stopped 22 shots to take home the win.
The ‘Cats hoped to continue their winning ways in Amarillo, but ended up on the wrong side of a 7-1 decision. Conor O’Neil got the Wildcats on the board first with a power play goal just seven minutes in, but that was all they would manage. The Bulls tied the game on a Mike Davis goal, then scored twice in the opening five minutes of the second ending Cowley’s night after stopping 16 of 19 shots. Backup goalie Cooper Cook didn’t fare much better, allowing 4 goals on 21 shots. Davis finished the night with five goals for the Bulls.
Looking to get back on track on Saturday, the skid unfortunately continued for the ‘Cats as the Bulls finished off the sweep with a 4-1 win. Carrying the momentum of the previous night’s seven unanswered goals, the Bulls jumped out to a 3-0 lead through the first period, adding a fourth goal with under a minute to play in the middle period. Just seventeen seconds later though, the Wildcats finally stopped the hemorrhaging as Kristaps Bazevics found just enough room to slip a puck past Amarillo netminder Collin Delia for a 4-1 score. Neither team scored in the third period, despite the Wildcats outshooting the Bulls 12-7.
The Wildcats currently trail the IceRays by two points in the race for the final South Division playoff spot.
WEEKEND NOTES: The Wildcats finish the season winless against the Bulls at a 0-8-0 mark… The week was a rough one, with five fights in the three games—O’Neil, Rudy Junda, Jake Townsend, Charlie Hemstrom, and Tyler Ledford were the combatants for the Wildcats… Colin Staub was again out of the lineup for both games due to injury.