For the second consecutive game, the first period began with strong goaltending and minimal scoring opportunities for the ‘Cats. The first 20 minutes were evenly played, as goalkeepers Julian Sime and Hunter Vorva held their ground. After several crucial saves and fine defensive plays, the ‘Cats found an opening.
The puck found its way onto Michael Rounds’ tape after Adam Goodsir dished a nice pass his way from the slot. Rounds, who has done a fine job all season of getting his shots through traffic, let it rip from the blue line. The puck changed directions and fooled Vorva, who did not see it until it had already entered the net. Ben Lown and Adam Goodsir were credited with the assists.
A late slashing penalty against Isaac Theisen of the Chill would be inconsequential for the ‘Cats, who struggled throughout the night on the man-advantage. However, just a minute into the second period, the ‘Cats struck again. After an offensive zone surge by newly implemented veteran line of Erich Jaeger, Max Reisinger and Jonathan Lazarus, a loose puck found its way to Reisinger. With Vorva down, Reisinger backhanded a strong shot into the net
for his first goal of the season, giving the ‘Cats a 2-0 lead.
The remainder of the second period was extremely one-sided, as the Chill found themselves overwhelmed by the relentless ‘Cats’ attack. Will Reedy of Coulee Region took an interference penalty midway through the middle frame, but the ‘Cats failed again to convert on the power play. The Chill were content to escape the second period only down by 2, as they had been outshot 21-8 throughout the first forty minutes.
Tensions rose at the start of the third period, as the Chill desperately tried to fight their way back into the game. Offsetting roughing penalties by Adam Goodsir and Aussie Miller kicked things off in the final regulation period. Shortly thereafter, the Chill gave the ‘Cats a dramatic scare. A turnover at the Wichita Falls blue line resulted in a point shot, which was redirected by Scott Corbett and past Sime.
Protecting a delicate one-goal lead with half the period yet to play, the ‘Cats took their defensive game to the next level. They managed to kill of a penalty against Domantas Cypas in the dying moments of the third period, and would hang on for their third consecutive victory. Sime earned his first win as a Wildcat.
The ‘Cats meet up with the Kenai River Brown Bears tomorrow afternoon at 4:15 pm on Rink 4 at the Schwan Super Rink for their third game of the showcase.