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PREVIEW: Wildcats vs. Brahmas

(Photo: Troy Young)

Game Notes: 11/8 vs. Lone Star

Wildcats Weekend Recap
Wichita Falls heads into this weekend’s home-and-home series with the Lone Star Brahmas looking to get back to winning ways. Despite strong individual efforts, the Wildcats had a hard time getting into an offensive groove last weekend, as they lost to the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees 4-1 on Friday and 3-1 on Saturday. It marked the first time this season that Wichita Falls has failed to record a point in a weekend set. The Wildcats find themselves in third place in the North American Hockey League’s South Division heading into this week’s action.

Getting Bullish on the Brahmas
The Lone Star Brahmas enter this weekend looking to rebound from a mid-week sweep at the hands of the Amarillo Bulls. Lone Star lost a close game on Tuesday, 4-2, before getting trounced on Wednesday, 7-0. Known as the Texas Tornado from 1999-2013, the team has not gotten off to the best start in their first season under the “Brahmas” moniker. Lone Star sits in last place in the South Division with a record of 4-12-1, and has lost three-straight contests. The Brahmas are led on offense by Anthony Mousseau, who has compiled a 3-8-11 line from the blue line, and AJ Duggan, who leads the team in goals with five. Jacob Nehama has seen the majority of time in net, posting a 3-5-1 record with a 3.77 goals against average and a .892 save percentage. Although this is the first-ever meeting between the Wildcats and Brahmas, the two franchises do have an extensive history; dating back to 2004-05, Wichita Falls is 30-48-6 against the team formerly known as the Texas Tornado.

Haverstrom Makin’ it Happen
Forward Josh Haverstrom has made a habit of scoring against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. The Orlando, Fla.-native notched a tally in both games last weekend, his fourth and fifth goals respectively, giving him a goal in each of his last three games against the Killer Bees. Haverstrom joins Jordan Jancze, Will Vosejpka, Ben Kucera and Kyle Bauman as Wildcats skaters with three goals against one opponent this season. Jancze has also posted three goals against Rio Grande Valley, while Bauman, Vosejpka and Kucera have each recorded three tallies in contests against the Odessa Jackalopes this season. 

Earning Honors
When the NAHL released its monthly awards for October, the Wildcats were well-represented. Colin Staub received honorable mention in the Easton Hockey NAHL Forward of the Month voting, while David Zevnik earned an honorable mention nod for the Brian’s Custom Sports NAHL Goaltender of the Month award. Staub led the Wildcats in scoring during the month of October, compiling a 2-4-6 line in eight games played, while Zevnik posted a perfect 3-0-0 record with a 1.34 goals against average and a .950 save percentage. Josh Haverstrom also recently received league recognition, earning an honorable mention in the NAHL Easton Divisional Stars of the Week for his two-goal weekend against the Killer Bees. 

Friday’s game against the Lone Star Brahmas marks the last home contest the Wildcats will play until after Thanksgiving. Wichita Falls will head to North Richland Hills on Saturday to conclude the home-and-home series with the Brahmas.  Following Saturday’s contest, the Wildcats will head to Alaska for a two-week road trip, their longest of the season. While in Alaska, the red-and-black will tackle the Kenai River Brown Bears on Nov. 15 and 16 before going to Fairbanks to take on the Ice Dogs on Nov. 22 and 23. This is the second-consecutive year Wichita Falls has gone on the road to Alaska; last year, the Wildcats went 1-3 in their four-game swing into the Last Frontier. 

Movember Update
This November, the Wildcats are joining other NAHL teams in partnering with Gongshow Hockey and Movember to put a new face on men’s health. Throughout the month, players, coaches and staff will grow mustaches to raise money for Movember’s campaign to support men’s health and raise awareness for the fight against prostate and testicular cancer. As of Nov. 6, the Wildcats had already raised over $500 in support of Movember. To support the Wildcats’ fundraising efforts with a donation, or to join the Wildcats’ Movember team, go to www.movember.com and search for “Wichita Falls Wildcats.”