(PHOTO: Troy Young)
WICHITA FALLS, Texas – Behind a six-goal second-period explosion, the Wichita Falls Wildcats posted an 8-5 win over the Amarillo Bulls at the Kay Yeager Coliseum on Saturday night.
Nick Farmer posted a goal and two assists for his second-consecutive three-point performance, and Jake Townsend also had two tallies and an assist in the win. Max Reisinger chipped in with a pair of goals, while Johnathan Lazarus, Nikita Litviak and Kevin Charyszyn also found twine for the ‘Cats.
Matt Koch notched two helpers in the win, and Colin Staub, Tommy Apap, Konstantin Chernyuk, Shane Kuzmeski, Austin Beaulieu all earned assists; Erich Jaeger and Austin Albrecht also set up goals for Wichita Falls, with David Zevnik stopping 21 of 22 shots to earn the win in relief.
Amarillo scored first for the third game in succession when Will Harrison beat Austin Shaw with a wrister from the slot at 3:50 of the first, but Wichita Falls responded minutes later.
Townsend raced the puck into the offensive zone along the right-wing wall and fed a pass in front, hoping for Apap. The center’s shot was blocked, but the rebound caromed right to Reisinger, who ripped it home to level the contest, 1-1, on his 12th of the year.
The level score was short-lived though, as Cody Gylling finished off an odd-man rush for the Bulls by tipping home Kasper Emanuelsson’s centering feed to give Amarillo a 2-1 lead just seconds later.
The Bulls potted a pair of goals early in the second period, as Trent Dillinger and JJ Huerena found a way past Shaw, but from there, the middle stanza was all Wichita Falls, as the ‘Cats scored six unanswered goals to take a 7-4 lead.
First, Lazarus made it 4-2 on his sixth goal of the year, directing Chernyuk’s pass from the point home to give the Wildcats life.
Seconds later, the ‘Cats pulled to within one. Farmer rushed the puck down the left-wing side and chipped it towards the net. Anton Martinsson could not handle the puck cleanly, and Litviak was on-hand to jam it over the goal line, with the goal eventually being awarded after a lengthy discussion between the officials.
Townsend then took over the contest for the next few minutes, scoring from the blue line to make it 4-4 at 8:25 of the second, before tapping in a loose puck from the top of the crease to make it 5-4 following a great centering feed from Staub.
Next it was Farmer’s turn to find twine, taking the puck in stride in the neutral zone and blowing past the Amarillo defense, before cutting in front and beating the Bulls netminder to make it 6-4.
The lead stretched to three less than two minutes later, with Charyszyn netting his team-leading 17th goal of the season when he slammed home a Farmer centering feed on the power play to make it 7-4 at 16:47 of the frame.
The red-and-black tacked on another tally for good measure in the early moments of the third when Reisinger notched his second of the night. After a pretty passing play with Beaulieu left the Austrian with space to shoot in the slot, he made no mistake, tucking a wrist-shot inside the left post for an 8-4 edge on his 13th of the season.
Amarillo earned a late consolation tally, as Gylling grabbed his second of the night to make it 8-5, but that is as close as the Bulls would come as Wichita Falls saw out the remaining time for the win triumph.
The Wildcats are next in action on Tuesday, Jan. 6, when they host the Amarillo Bulls on Church Youth Group Night. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m., with all youth groups able to take advantage of free group admission by contacting the Wildcats Hockey offices at (940) 716-5587. Fans that cannot make it to the game may follow the action on FASTHockey.com, with an audio-only broadcast available via YouTube.
Single-game tickets for the 2014-15 Wildcats season are on sale now at the Kay Yeager Coliseum box office. Stay updated on the latest team news and notes by connecting with the Wildcats on Facebook (WFWildcats), Twitter (@WFWildcats), Instagram (WFWildcats) and on YouTube (Wichita Falls Wildcats).
NOTES: Saturday’s win marked the ninth-straight home win for Wichita Falls, setting a new franchise record in that regard…Nick Farmer posted his second three-point game and stretched his point-streak to five games in the win; he has 4-5-9 in that span.
Amarillo – Will Harrison (Luke Novak, Cody Gylling) 3:50
Wichita Falls – Max Reisinger (Tommy Apap, Jake Townsend) 7:35
Amarillo – Cody Gylling (Kasper Emanuelsson, Luke Novak) 7:47
Amarillo – Trent Dillinger (Kyle Hartman, Will Harrison) 1:07
Amarillo – JJ Huerena (Riley Christensen, Tristan Rostagno) 2:42
Wichita Falls – Jonathan Lazarus (Konstantin Chernyuk) 6:52
Wichita Falls – Nikita Litviak (Nick Farmer) 7:14
Wichita Falls – Jake Townsend (Austin Albrecht) 8:25
Wichita Falls – Jake Townsend (power play) (Colin Staub, Matt Koch) 10:54
Wichita Falls – Nick Farmer (Matt Koch, Cam Knight) 14:57
Wichita Falls – Kevin Charyszyn (power play) (Erich Jaeger, Nick Farmer) 16:47
Wichita Falls – Max Reisinger (Austin Beaulieu, Shane Kuzmeski) 1:31
Amarillo – Cody Gylling (Kasper Emanuelsson, Brady Crabtree) 16:19