The Series So Far
The Wildcats enter Friday’s Game 3 trailing 2-0 in the best-of-five Division Semifinal series. In Game 1 last Friday, Wichita Falls fell behind in the first period despite controlling most of the opening frame. Matt Koch scored his first-career goal with the ‘Cats shorthanded in the second stanza to tie the game, but Mike Davis scored his second of the contest in the waning moments of the middle frame to give the Bulls the lead once more. Amarillo would tack on two more tallies in the third to make it 4-1, before Rudy Junda scored to give the Wildcats some late hope, as the game finished 4-2. In Game 2, Amarillo raced out to a 3-0 lead in the first, before Wichita Falls stormed back to tie it with three goals in just over five minutes in the second. Just as in Game 1 though, the Bulls used a late second-period goal to reclaim the lead, before adding insurance markers in the third to lock up the win, 7-4.
This season marks the sixth time in franchise history the Wildcats have appeared in the North American Hockey League playoffs. Wichita Falls owns a 7-17-0 all-time record in postseason play. The Wildcats have forced Game 5 on three occasions, including their two most recent playoff ventures in 2011 and 2009, both of which came against the Topeka Roadrunners. The ‘Cats have not advanced out of the first round in their 10-year history, but this year there is reason for optimism despite being the fourth seed in the South Division. The Wildcats finished the regular season at 31-25-4, marking the second-most wins in a regular season in team history, and the first 30-win season since 2007-8 when Wichita Falls finished with a 38-18-2 record. Additionally, the red-and-black finished the regular season with 19 road wins, the third-highest total in the league.
Kucera is Killing It
Ben Kucera was a bright spot for the Wildcats last weekend. The Leawood, Kans.-native had three points on a goal and two assists to lead Wichita Falls in scoring over the first two games of the postseason. The three-point weekend continues a strong run of play for Kucera; in his last five contests, regular season and postseason, the second-year forward has six points (two goals, four assists) dating back to March 26 against the Lone Star Brahmas.
About the Robertson Cup
The Robertson Cup is awarded to the national playoff champion of the North American Hockey League. The oldest junior hockey trophy in the United States, the Robertson Cup is named in honor of Chuck Robertson, a pioneer of junior hockey in the NAHL, and the owner of the Paddock Pools Saints when they won a record seven-straight NAHL championships from 1976-83.
Tickets for all Wildcats playoff games start at just $10, and are available by contacting the Kay Yeager Coliseum Box Office at (940) 716-5555. Groups of 15 people or more can receive admission for $7 per person by contacting the Wildcats office at (940) 716-5587.
Fans may follow the weekend’s action in a variety of ways. Video streaming is available on FASTHockey.com, with an audio-only broadcast available by visiting our Ustream channel. Fans can also follow along on Twitter
(@WFWildcats) for score updates throughout the contest.