Friday, 03.24.2017 / 9:56 pm CT
By Alex von Keudell / Photo: Tracey Koby
Seeking their first-ever home victory over the Shreveport Mudbugs, the Wildcats could not get their offense generated and fell 4-0 on Friday night.
The Mudbugs displayed excellent creativity in the opening period. Several give-and-go’s and intricate passing plays came close to burning the Wildcats before one finally did.
Eriks Zohovs, who’s got the second highest points-per-game average in the NAHL, opened the scoring after he received a pass down the slot in the Wildcats zone. He slipped the puck through Evan Moyse’s five-hole 11:05 into the contest to get the Mudbugs on the board first.
Jonathan Waring nearly answered after Steven Tillie fed him a beautiful pass on an odd-man rush. Waring just ripped his shot wide of the right post, and the Cats entered the first intermission trailing 1-0.
The Cats could not carry momentum across periods, as the Mudbugs dictated the pace of the second. At 32:17, they would double their lead after Ryan Burnett was given a slashing penalty.
On the ensuing faceoff after the second period media timeout, Zohovs sent a crisp pass from circle-to-circle over to Brendon Gysbers. The defenseman slung a perfectly placed wrist shot inside the right elbow to beat Moyse and give Shreveport a 2-0 edge.
Late in the second period, it appeared as though the Wildcats had scored on a power play after a Burnett shot ricocheted oddly towards the net. The goal judge turned the light on, the horn blew, and the players and fans celebrated. However, referee Zane Stout emphatically gave the washout signal and explained that the puck had not completely crossed the goal line. As a result, the score remained 2-0 heading into the third period.
Despite a valiant effort to get themselves back into the game, the bounces did not go the Wildcats’ way. A Domantas Cypas point shot bounced off the inside of the post and was covered by a sprawling Dylan Lubbesmeyer in the blue paint. Shortly thereafter, Georgui Feduolov scored a fortunate goal after a broken play.
Desperate to score three goals in the closing minutes, the Wildcats pulled Moyse for a sixth attacker. Jay Feiwell managed to score an empty net goal to seal the deal.
Lubbesmeyer had a 30-save shutout for his 16th victory of the season, while Moyse went 29/32 for his ninth regulation defeat of the season. The Wildcats will play their final home game of the regular season tomorrow night against the Mudbugs. Puck drops at 7:05 pm CT.