Friday, 12.16.2016 / 10:24 pm CT
By Alex von Keudell / Photo: Meagan Sullivan
Jared Dempsey held the Wildcats in close contention all night long Friday night, but the Brahmas’ superior puck possession ultimately paid off as they skated to a 2-1 victory to end the Wildcats’ nine-game point streak.
The Brahmas showed no signs of being checked out for the holiday break at the start of the game. They rolled to a 16-5 edge in shots in the first twenty minutes, putting the Wildcats on their heels and forcing them to defend the entire first period.
Despite generating promising looks on their first power play, the Cats could were unable to sneak a shot past Alec Calvaruso. It was the Brahmas who scored first off a snipe from the right circle by Julian Biondo in the last minute of the opening period. He was able to rifle the puck over Dempsey’s shoulder, off the crossbar and in.
The second period mirrored the first in almost every way. Despite Lone Star outshooting the Wildcats 17-6, Steven Tillie managed to slip a shot past Calvaruso on a Wildcats power play 5:37 into period two to tie the game.
An onslaught of shots on Dempsey continued, and the Wildcats goaltender fought them off with aplomb. Through the first 40 minutes, Dempsey had stopped 32 of the 33 Brahmas’ shots.
The closing period was the Wildcats’ best period of the night, but they couldn’t find a way to score. Multiple shot blocks and timely saves made by Calvaruso kept the Cats at bay, and eventually, the Brahmas scored a goal which was long overdue.
Following a questionable boarding penalty called against Seamus Donohue, Lone Star’s Jack Zielinski unleashed a heavy one-timer from the left circle which squeaked through Dempsey and into the net. With seven and a half minutes remaining, the Brahmas locked things down and handed a rare regulation defeat to the Wildcats.
Dempsey stopped 44 of Lone Star’s 46 shots en route to a First Star of the Game performance. At the other end, Calvaruso was a solid 17/18 and skated away with his 11th win of the season. The Wildcats and Brahmas will have a rematch on Saturday, December 17th at NYTEX Sports Centre on the final game before the holiday break. Puck drop is set for 7:30 pm CT.