(Photo: Troy Young)
WICHITA FALLS, Texas – Nick Farmer scored less than a minute into the game, but it was not enough to keep the Wichita Falls Wildcats from dropping a 3-2 decision to the Amarillo Bulls at the Kay Yeager Coliseum Friday night.
With the loss, the Wildcats were eliminated from the 2014 Robertson Cup playoffs.
Max Reisinger also scored for Wichita Falls in the contest, while Tyler Ledford added an assist for his second point of the postseason. David Zevnik made 17 saves in net for the red-and-black.
The Wildcats wasted no time getting on the board, as they opened the scoring less than a minute into the first period. Farmer picked up the puck at his own blue line, skated by a Bulls defenseman, and released a shot on net. Collin Delia turned the initial effort away, but Farmer followed up the play and cleaned up his own rebound to make it 1-0 just 53 seconds into the game.
Amarillo knotted the score five minutes later, as Joe Grabowski snuck a shot through a heavy screen and beat Zevnik for his first goal of the playoffs. The goal came unassisted, and was scored at the 5:13 mark of the first.
The game progressed into a second period that saw more evenly-matched play from both teams, but the Wildcats regained their one-goal advantage roughly five minutes into the stanza.
Ledford fed the puck to Reisinger at the blue line after some great work along the left-wing wall to keep possession. Reisinger’s first shot was blocked, but the first-year man picked up the rebound, skated around a defenseman into the slot, and placed a blistering wrist shot just inside the post to make it 2-1 Wichita Falls at 5:19 of the frame.
The Bulls once again answered, this time in the form of Eric Purcell. After Kyle Gattelaro’s weak wrister was blockered away by Zevnik, the puck caromed off the back wall right to Purcell crashing the crease to make it 2-2.
Amarillo took the lead early in the third period, as Gattelaro somehow tucked a wrap-around chance under the pad of Zevnik to make it 3-2 just 26 ticks into the frame.
The Wildcats mounted the pressure as they hunted for a goal to tie the contest and extended their season, as they outshot the Bulls 8-5 in the frame and 35-20 in the contest. However, none was forthcoming as Delia stood tall in net to lead the Bulls to the series-clinching victory.
Wichita Falls – Nick Farmer (unassisted) 0:53
Amarillo – Joe Grabowski (unassisted) 5:13
Wichita Falls – Max Reisinger (Tyler Ledford) 5:19
Amarillo – Eric Purcell (Kyle Gattelaro) 13:40
Amarillo – Kyle Gattelaro (Roman Ammirato, Mike Davis) 0:26