Wildcats Fall to Fairbanks to Start Showcase
Wednesday, 09.21.2016 / 12:40 pm CT
In a tight-checking matchup to kick off the 2016 showcase, the Wildcats fell 1-0 to the Fairbanks Ice Dogs.
The reigning Robertson Cup Champions have picked up right where they left off last season. They swept the Topeka RoadRunners in a three-game series at the Kansas ExpoCentre to start their campaign and quelled a red-hot Wildcats attack. A team which had scored 11 times in the last two games was held to just five shots in the first period.
An early power play for the Wildcats generated a handful of scoring opportunities, but none were enough to beat veteran goaltender C.J. Boothe. On the other end, Evan Moyse had a busy morning, stopping all but one of the some-30 shots he faced throughout the game.
The Cats fell back into one of their biggest problems they’ve had early this season. They were unable to stay out of the penalty box, giving the Ice Dogs nine power play opportunities. Fortunately, the penalty killers were on their game and managed to keep their opponents off the score sheet.
A flurry of chances late in the second nearly yielded a Wichita Falls goal. One shot snuck through Boothe’s equipment and lay loose on the goal line, but veteran blue-liner Aaron McPheters swept the puck out and down the ice. Shortly thereafter, Aleksi Poikola scored what he thought would get his team on the board, but the net had been knocked off its pegs and the goal did not count.
Finally, on their sixth power play of the game, the Dogs managed to score on Moyse. A long shot taken by Aaron Wendt was blocked by Wildcats defenseman Jonathan Waring, but the puck caromed straight to Cayden Cahill, who swatted it past Moyse to give Fairbanks a 1-0 lead. Despite a desperate surge to tie the game, the Cats could not crack a hole in a very stingy Ice Dogs defense, and fell 1-0 in Day 1 of the showcase.
Moyse was handed his first regulation defeat of the season, falling to 2-1-1. Boothe, on the other hand, improved to 3-0-0 with his first shutout of the campaign. The Wildcats will be back on Rink 4 of the Schwan Super Rink on Day 2 to play the Springfield Jr. Blues on Thursday, September 22nd at 4:15 PM.