(Photo: Troy Young)
WICHITA FALLS, Texas – Two points from Colin Staub and Nick Farmer, and a pair of power-play tallies helped the Wichita Falls Wildcats claim their third win in succession, as they defeated the Amarillo Bulls, 5-2, and the Kay Yeager Coliseum on Tuesday night.
Staub and Farmer each potted a goal and an assist in the win, and Alex Falconer, Cam Knight and Erich Jaeger also found twine for Wichita Falls. David Zevnik earned the start in net, making 22 saves on 24 shots faced to claim his 11th victory of the year.
For the first time in their last five contests, the ‘Cats found the net first, and did so after a strong rush by Staub.
After Townsend chipped a loose puck into the offensive zone from just outside the blue line, Staub skated onto the disc and charged to the net. With Austin Albrecht to his left, Staub faked a shot and cut towards the middle, before tucking a backhand effort through the five-hole of Jacob Weatherly to make it 1-0 at 5:28 of the frame.
Townsend almost made it 2-0 Wichita Falls on the power play a few minutes later, as Staub set him up with a chance on the back door, but Weatherly managed to glove Townsend’s effort to keep the score 1-0.
Amarillo capitalized on that save later in the first, with Cody Gylling swatting home a rebound from an acute angle to level the score, 1-1, on a two-man advantage for the Bulls.
Early in the middle frame, a power play opportunity allowed Luke Novak to give Amarillo a 2-1 lead, but true to recent form, the red-and-black answered with a strong surge in the second stanza.
First, Falconer marked his return to the lineup with his seventh of the year. Chernyuk played the puck to space on the right-wing wall, where Okeley went in to jar the puck loose. Okeley won the battle for possession and chipped to the middle where Falconer raced onto it, before beating Weatherly through the legs to make it 2-2.
Four minutes later, Knight got involved in the scoring. Lazarus skated into the zone in possession and put on the brakes at the top of the left-wing circle, then played an inch-perfect saucer pass to Knight trailing on the rush at the blue line. Knight took a touch to settle the disc, then ripped a shot into the top corner to give the ‘Cats a 3-2 lead on his seventh tally of the season.
Wichita Falls tacked on a third second-period goal at 17:12 of the frame, taking advantage of a power play opportunity of its own to do so. After a lengthy spell in the offensive zone for the Wildcats, Jaeger hacked at a loose puck that barely fluttered over a prone Weatherly and nestled into the back of the net to give the red-and-black a 4-2 lead heading into the break.
Early in the third period, the ‘Cats were assessed a five-minute major penalty for checking from behind, giving the Bulls a lengthy power-play opportunity, but Zevnik turned aside all attempts to keep the score at 4-2 in favor of Wichita Falls.
After two more penalty kills in the frame and with the net empty for Amarillo, Staub and Farmer combined to kill off the contest, as Staub chipped the disc towards the empty cage for Farmer to put home, as the game ended 5-2.
The Wildcats are next in action when they host the Topeka RoadRunners for two games at the KYC this Friday and Saturday night. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m. both nights, with video coverage available via FASTHockey.com. Fans that cannot make it to the game may also follow the action using an audio-only stream on 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).
Wichita Falls – Colin Staub (Jake Townsend, Jonathan Lazarus) 5:28
Amarillo – Cody Gylling (power play) (Kasper Emanuelsson, Will Harrison) 14:19
Amarillo – Luke Novak (power play) (Cody Gylling, Kasper Emanuelsson) 2:35
Wichita Falls – Alex Falconer (Evan Okeley, Konstantin Chernyuk) 9:13
Wichita Falls – Cam Knight (Jonathan Lazarus, Matt Koch) 13:16
Wichita Falls – Erich Jaeger (power play) (Max Reisinger, Nick Farmer) 17:12
Wichita Falls – Nick Farmer (power play) (empty net) (Colin Staub) 19:47