(Photo: Troy Young)
WICHITA FALLS, Texas – Josh Haverstrom scored his fourth goal of the season and David Zevnik made 19 saves, but it was not enough to keep the Wildcats (10-4-3) from falling to the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (9-4-5) on Friday.
Rio Grande Valley opened the scoring thanks to Sean Mostorm’s first goal of the season. Mostrom skated over the blue line and let a wrist shot go from the top of the circles that beat a screened Zevnik to make it 1-0 at 3:40 of the first period.
The Killer Bees doubled their advantage half-way through the second period. Evan Schmidbauer intercepted a pass in the neutral zone with Rio Grande Valley shorthanded and skated in on a breakaway before beating Zevnik at 11:09 of the second.
The Wildcats countered with a shorthanded tally of their own late in the period to make it 2-1, however. Haverstrom stripped the Killer Bee defenseman of the puck at the blue line and raced away on a clean break. Having already been stonewalled on a breakaway in the first period, Haverstorm made sure to finish this one, tucking a shot inside the post to make it a 2-1 contest.
Wichita Falls opened the third period hunting a game-tying a goal but the Wildcats were not able to put a second goal past Olli Kalkaja. The hill to climb was made steeper when Marcus Ericsson scored his first goal of the season from the point to make it 3-1 at the 11:53 mark of the final frame. Then, Ben Greiner added an empty-net goal for good measure to complete the scoring at 4-1.
The Wildcats and Killer Bees will tangle once more on Saturday, with puck drop scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Saturday night is Koozie Night, with the first 500 fans receiving drink koozies courtesy of US Cellular.
Rio Grande Valley – Sean Mostrom (Cam Ashley) 3:40
Rio Grande Valley – Evan Schmidbauer (shorthanded) (unassisted) 11:09
Wichita Falls – Josh Haverstrom (shorthanded) (unassisted) 19:18
Rio Grande Valley – Marcus Ericsson (unassisted) 11:53
Rio Grande Valley – Ben Greiner (empty net) (Evan Schmidbauer) 18:30