February 11, 2013 - North American Hockey League (NAHL) - Wichita Falls Wildcats
The Wildcats couldn't continue their winning ways, getting swept by the Amarillo Bulls on Friday and Saturday by scores of 7-2 and 4-2.
The Bulls set the tone early on Friday, scoring only 2:34 into the game, followed by two goals later in the period by Blake Roubos for a quick 3-0 lead. The Bulls put 18 shots on Cooper Cook, who settled down nicely in the second period, stopping 10 Amarillo shots, keeping the Wildcats in the game, hopeful for a third period comeback. Unfortunately, the Bulls picked up their offensive onslaught again, putting three more pucks in the net before the Wildcats came alive with a George Pagonis powerplay goal with five minutes left to end Paul Berrafato's shutout bid. Nick Farmer added a shorthanded tally two minutes later, going high glove side with a wrister to make it a 6-2 game, but the Bulls went on to capitalize on the power play for the third time that night for a 7-2 final.
Saturday's game saw another early barrage of shots by the Bulls, putting 10 on net in the first then 20 in the second, but once again Cooper Cook stood tall in net, stopping 28 of those first 30, while Kyle Bauman sandwiched a goal in between those two scored by Amarillo, keeping the game within reach for the Wildcats through the opening forty minutes. But similar to Friday night, the Bulls pulled away in the third, getting two goals to make it a 4-1 game. Only ten seconds after that fourth goal though, George Pagonis struck again and made it 4-2 with eight minutes left. But the Bulls defense stood up against the Wildcats, especially late, keeping the Wildcats from getting an extra attacker on the ice until the clock was down to only 30 seconds left, taking home the sweep.
The Wildcats will face the Bulls again in March for two games out in Amarillo.
WEEKEND NOTES: The Wildcats' penalty kill was only 1 for 4 on Friday, responsible for three of the Bulls' seven goals... The "Cats had a defenseman ejected each night: Charlie Hemstrom was shown the gate late in Friday's game following a cross-checking major, and Jake Townsend was tossed early Saturday after getting whistled for a five-minute major for checking from behind... Conor O'Neil was out of the lineup the whole weekend after his injury in Odessa last Friday... The Wildcats called up goalie Pat Drazkowski to serve as the emergency backup goalie Friday and Saturday... The Wildcats raised over $25,000 for Children's Miracle Network with their Jersey Off Our Back auction on Saturday Night. We'll have more information, including the final total on the money raised, coming this week!
NAHL SOUTH DIVISION NOTES: Corpus Christi swept their series with Odessa to rebuild their lead to seven points over the Wildcats... Topeka picked up a sweep of their own as well, extending the Texas losing streak to four games after having won their previous ten in a row... Amarillo is the first team to clinch a playoff spot in the South Division, joining the four West teams and the Austin Bruins as the teams to have punched their ticket to the postseason.
Scouting the Topeka Roadrunners, February 15-16
The Wildcats will face the Topeka Roadrunners a total of six more times before the conclusion of the 2012-13 season, with the next two coming this weekend at the Kay Yeager Coliseum. The Wildcats are 2-4-0 against Topeka this season, and split the series the last time they faced each other in Wichita Falls.
The Roadrunners are led by Sean Gaffney, who is second in the entire NAHL with 56 points. He leads the Roadrunners with 35 assists, while Kyle Sharkey is their top goal scorer with 25. Codey Hansen leads the team in penalty minutes with 143 between Topeka and Johnstown, however he has been out of the lineup since December 8 due to a suspension.
Conor O'Neil leads the Wildcats in all offensive categories against the Roadrunners this season with 5 goals, 3 assists, and 8 points. He had a hat trick against them on January 5.
Evan Cowley on Team USA!
Wildcats' goalie Evan Cowley went 1-1-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) in net with a 2.33 GAA and .879 save percentage as the United States Under-18 team went 1-1-0-2 in their fourth-place finish at the 2013 Five Nations Tournament.
After Team USA lost 4-2 to Finland to open their play, Cowley was given a chance to start on Thursday, and stopped 16 of 17 shots in a 5-1 win over the Czech Republic. He earned the starting spot for the remainder of the tournament, losing a 4-3 game to a tough Russian squad on Saturday, but finished off the tournament with a hard-fought 3-2 overtime win on Sunday against the host country, Sweden.
Adding to the honor of getting to start three games, Cowley also led all goaltenders in the tournament in GAA.
Upcoming Wildcats' Events
We're on the air! Join us for the Wildcats' Coaches' Radio Show at our new show host, El Mejicano on Wednesdays at 7 pm. The Voice of the Wildcats, Drew Pelto, will interview the Wildcats' coaches and your favorite Wildcats' players. If you can't get to the show, tune in on the radio at 7:30 pm on 94.9, KOLI, The Outlaw. All in attendance wearing a Wildcats' jersey will get 20% off!
Get out on the ice! We have our February open skating schedule on the Games and Ice Events tab at WFWildcatsHockey.com. We also offer birthday party packages at a Wildcats game or an open skating session. Any questions about our ice programs? Contact Sarah Scrivner in the Wildcats office.
Become a fan on Facebook! Get all our updates at http://www.facebook.com/WFWildcats
And don't forget to follow us on Twitter @WFWildcats!
Have a player deliver your Valentine's Day Gifts!
Order your Valentine's Day gifts from The Basketcase and you could have a Wildcats' player deliver them to your sweetheart! They will have two Wildcats' players delivering on Thursday afternoon. You can get a dozen roses for $72.50 or a half-dozen roses for $50.00. Mixed flower arrangements are also available for any budget. Call them up at 940-322-3694 to put in your order!
Please note, you must place your order by Tuesday, February 12th to have a player make delivery, and make sure to let them know you'd like a player to deliver when you call.
AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE
Cal Heeter was recalled by the Adirondack Phantoms this week after a short stint with the Trenton Titans in the ECHL. He went 1-1-0, 3.21, .909 in his time in Trenton.
Dan Sexton ended a three-game skid with no points on Sunday with a goal in Norfolk's 4-3 win over Hershey. The lone assist on the goal came from former South Division foe and now teammate Pat Maroon.
After having his five-game scoring streak snapped, Kyle Kraemer tallied four goals and an assist this past week for the Ontario Reign.
Andrew Conboy is third in the league in PIM with 188. He also has 12 points through 39 games split between Trenton and Cincinnati, where he plays now.
NCAA DIVISION 1
Kyle Delaurell had both of Air Force's goals in a 2-2 tie with Mercyhurst on Saturday.
NCAA DIVISION 3
Brandon Stroud had three assists on Sunday as Western New England took a 6-4 decision over Salve Regina., coming back from being down 4-1.
Adam Cardwell had three goals and an assist in two games over the weekend for Wisconsin-River Falls.
Chris Rial scored two goals and added an assist as St. Norbert won both of their games over the weekend.
Drew Allen had three goals and an assist and Daniel Hildebrandt had four assists as Augsburg swept a two-game set with Bethel.