Bats Top Bees 5-2 in Season Opener
Austin, TX - The Killer Bees opened their second season Saturday night in Austin with a 5-2 loss, as Arturs Kupaks scored a pair of goals in a three-point effort against the Bees in front of 3,558 fans at the Travis County Expo Center.
It was the defensemen getting in on the early scoring in the contest, with Arturs Kupaks giving the Bats a 1-0 lead with a blast from the point that hopped past Jacque Vezina's left side, and Killer Bees defenseman Derek Holland answering with slap shot from the left circle that slipped past a screen and over the left shoulder of 5-foot 4-inch goaltender Matt Barnes.
The goal by Kupaks was the first goal allowed by Vezina to an Ice Bats member, as he held a season series shutout sequence of 29:29 last season against Austin. Vezina would surrender another Bats goal just under four minutes after Holland's tally, as unattended John McNabb placed a Kupaks rebound past Vezina from the right slot for a power play goal and a 2-1 advantage for the Bats in the first period.
The Bats extended their lead to 3-1 in the second period with their second power play goal and the second goal of the night for Kupaks. The goal was scored 2:38 into the period and 15-seconds into the power play with Bees rookie defenseman Matt Suderman watching from the penalty box.
Returning Bees defenseman Jason Tessier gathered a loose puck and slipped it past Barnes with 8:12 remaining in he game to cut the deficit to 3-2. Last seasons United Hockey League Rookie of the Year, Benoit Genesse took over from there and sealed the game for the Bats. Genesse was Johnny-on-the-spot as he established himself in front of Vezina while a scramble along the right-wing boards ensued. The puck flew out of the scrum and right to Genesse, who then placed it past the stick side of Vezina. He picked up his second goal of the game with 1:20 remaining with an empty-net goal to preserve the 5-2 victory.
The Killer Bees record in season openers drops to 0-2-0 and the Bees now return home to prepare for their home opener Friday night against the rival Laredo Bucks.
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Central Hockey League Stories from October 23, 2004
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- Killer Bees Road Game Preview @ Austin - Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees
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