Photo: Cody Wooten
Sunday, 10.02.2016 / 10:02 pm CT
The Wildcats’ 25-game point streak at Kay Yeager Coliseum came to an end Sunday night, as the Odessa Jackalopes cruised past them for a 7-2 victory.
Despite having Head Coach Tony Curtale and veteran defenseman Domantas Cypas back, the Cats got off to a very slow start. Odessa killed off an early Wichita Falls power play convincingly, just before Nick Klishko and Jake Levin were sprung on a 2-on-1 break. Klishko fed a diagonal pass to Levin, who tucked home the shot for his third goal of the season to give the Jackalopes an early lead. Two minutes later, Brandon Krumpschmid stuffed home a point-blank shot to give Odessa a 2-0 edge.
It was a difficult game for Wildcats goaltender Austin Smith to be making his debut with the team, as he faced numerous odd-man rushes and quality scoring chances to start the game. However, at the 10:02 mark of the first period, Ilya Skvortsov got the crowd roaring with a powerful snap shot from the right circle to cut the Jacks’ lead to one. However, the Jacks would answer on their first power play of the game after Christian Hausinger swatted home a rebound past Smith to reinstate a two-goal Odessa lead.
The second period can only be described as a frenzy. After Chase Thudium potted a fourth Jackalopes goal, Seamus Donohue and Riley Bechard dropped the gloves and exchanged punches for a few short seconds before the Wildcats Captain threw Bechard to the ice.
The scrap did not slow the tensions of the game one bit. Wichita Falls’ Ethan Daniels and Ricky Carballo got tangled up with Connor Wood and Jake Levin, respectively. All four players were given ten-minute misconduct penalties by the referee in an attempt to get the game under control. He succeeded, as the rest of the second period went without another penalty. Steven Tillie would bring the Cats to within two on a wraparound for his second goal of the season.
Curtale’s squad did not have enough juice to continue chipping away at the Jackalopes’ lead. Three unanswered goals scored by Chris Donaldson, Hausinger, and Thudium would put the Wildcats away in the final 20 minutes. Odessa’s victory was its first at Kay Yeager Coliseum in over two years.
Smith stopped 7 of 10 shots in his Wildcats debut, while Moyse came in relief to deny 11 of 15. Odessa’s Jon Flakne made 28 saves on 30 shots, earning his second win of the season. The Wildcats will be back at the KYC on Friday, October 7th to host the Amarillo Bulls. The first 1500 fans through the doors will receive a free team poster sponsored by Parkway Grill.