Sunday, 12.04.2016 / 6:02 pm CT
By Alex von Keudell / Photo: Bryan Williams
For the first time since October 9th, the Wildcats swept the IceRays in Corpus Christi as they cruised to a 4-0 victory on Sunday evening.
With a milder crowd on hand for the Sunday afternoon contest, both teams lacked the spark and energy they each had to start Saturday night.
Early on, the IceRays won the majority of the board battles and created slightly more quality scoring chances than the Cats. However, the tables began to turn as the period went on and it was Wichita Falls who went into the first intermission in brighter spirits.
The Cats surged in the Corpus Christi zone for minutes at a time before, after, and during their first power play of the afternoon. IceRays goaltender Camden Burggrabe was on his game and pitched a nine-save first period shutout. Jared Dempsey stopped all eight of the Rays’ shots in the opening period as the teams went scoreless through the first 20 minutes.
It was Wichita Falls who appeared to be more motivated following the first intermission. The Cats outshot the Rays 15-10 in the second period, and would score twice within a minute and 33 seconds.
Steven Tillie got his team on the board on the Wildcats’ third power play of the game. Following a great deal of confusion prior to the offensive zone faceoff, Tillie found a hot pass by CJ Walker from behind the goal line and ripped a shot low and through Burggrabe to open the scoring 13:55 into the second.
Just two shifts later, the Cats doubled their lead. Jeff Skinner scored his first goal as a Wildcat after Ryan Burnett fed him a crisp no-look pass from behind the net. Skinner doubled Wichita Falls’ lead and the teams entered the second intermission with the visitors leading 2-0. The goal caused Burggrabe to be pulled from the game and replaced by Tomáš Vomáčka.
An increasingly more conditioned Wildcats team outskated the IceRays in the third period for the second straight night. Corpus Christi appeared to be out of gas late in regulation, and the Cats capitalized off a Griffin Loughran slashing penalty.
CJ Walker scored to give the Cats their second straight power play goal 15:25 into period three. The Idaho native tallied his second power play point on the night with the goal, and put the game all but out of reach for Corpus Christi. A late empty net goal by Blake Ripley sealed the deal and completed the road sweep for Wichita Falls.
Dempsey earned his first shutout of the season, stopping all 32 shots he faced. Burggrabe denied 18 of 20 while Vomáčka stopped 11 of 12. The Wildcats will head to Odessa to take on the Jackalopes on Thursday, December 8th, at 7 pm at the Ector County Coliseum.