Saturday, 11.12.2016 / 10:05 pm CT
By: Alex von Keudell / Photo: Tracey Koby
In their fourth straight game against the Amarillo Bulls, the Wildcats won a nail-biter in overtime. The Cats earned their fourth victory in a row with a 4-3 triumph and are now on their longest winning streak of the season.
The start to the game did not have the same urgency to it for the Wildcats that it did the previous night, despite the morale boost from the Military Appreciation Night crowd. On an Amarillo power play, Ilya Skvortsov was tripped in the attacking zone in an effort to kill some time. Nothing was called, and the Bulls brought the puck right back the other direction. Brendan Walkom spotted Hayden Broomhead wide open in the left circle. Broomhead backhanded a shot past Evan Moyse to give the Bulls a 1-0 lead.
The Wildcats responded with a power play goal of their own just five minutes later. Jonathan Waring was fed a crisp pass from Skvortsov from the right circle. Waring unleashed a point shot off the pad of Amarillo’s goaltender Nikita Babintsev, and the puck rebounded right to Aleksi Poikola. The overtime hero from Friday night buried his sixth goal of the season to tie the game for the Cats.
Though the Cats cranked things up at the end of the first period, the level of play was nowhere near as skewed as it was on Friday night. Amarillo hung around and kept most of Wichita Falls’ shots to the perimeter. Seven minutes into the second period, however, the Cats found an opening.
Wichita Falls would score another goal almost identical to their first one. Karim Del Ponte rifled a wrist shot from the right point off Babintsev’s right pad, and the puck caromed to Steven Tillie who scored his second goal in as many games to give the Cats their first lead of the evening.
The Bulls outplayed the Cats for the second straight third period. Brendan Michaelian scored from a snap shot from the left half boards which fooled Moyse and tied the game 2-2. 64 seconds later, Ricky Carballo scored his fifth of the season after Waring ripped another point shot which ricocheted off Babintsev. At 49:04, George Mika funneled up the ice through three Wildcats and ripped home a heavy wrist shot to re-tie the game 3-3 and force overtime.
For the second straight night, Mika took a penalty at the end of the game, giving the Cats a 4-on-3 power play in overtime. After a mad scramble in front of the Bulls net, Ryan Orgel found the puck on his stick at the right circle and ripped home the game winning goal to give the Cats the 4-3 OT victory.
Moyse earned his 8th victory of the season, stopping 30 of 33. Babintsev was given back-to-back overtime defeats, halting 41 of 45 Wildcats shots. The Cats will host the Topeka RoadRunners for the first time of the season on Thursday, November 17th to kick off a three-game home series.