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Wildcats split in pair of come-from-behind games

December 3, 2012 - North American Hockey League (NAHL) - Wichita Falls Wildcats News Release

The Wildcats and Roadrunners each saw their teams give away third-period leads and come back in a third period as they split a two-game weekend series in Topeka. Friday saw the Wildcats take a 4-3 decision, while Saturday's game was a 5-3 win for the Roadrunners.

The Wildcats got down early on Friday but bounced back for an overtime win over Topeka. The Roadrunners tallied a pair of goals in the first nine minutes before George Pagonis struck with an unassisted goal to cot the deficit to 2-1. Topeka's Sean Gaffney opened the lead up to 3-1 in the second, but Will Vosejpka got the Wildcats started on their comeback, going glove-side with a wrister for a 3-2 game.

The Wildcats came out hard and fast in the third period, outshooting the Roadrunners 13-3 early on, and midway through the period, Erik Ouellette's tough-angle shot found a hole and slipped into the goal for a tie game. The Roadrunners picked up the offense in the final ten minutes, outshooting the Wildcats 7-2, but Evan Cowley made 33 saves in regulation (and also picked up his first career point, assisting on Ouellette's goal).

With a hooking call on Mick Bruce, the Wildcats went on the powerplay and Eliot Grauer found Conor O'Neil with a cross-ice pass for the game-winning goal on a one-timer from the right-wing circle for a 4-3 final.

The Wildcats carried their string of unanswered goals into Saturday's game for a good spell, but a third period collapse saw them drop a 5-3 decision to the Roadrunners.

The Wildcats' penalty kill had been 34 of its last 37 coming into Saturday's game, and they showed some offensive skill with it. With only 6.4 seconds left in the first period, Eliot Grauer put in his second shorthanded goal of the season for a 1-0 Wildcats lead.

Midway through the second period, the penalty-killers struck again as Kyle Bauman also tallied his second shortie of the year and the Wildcats led 2-0 despite getting outshot 16-6. Three minutes later, Rudy Junda ended the night of Topeka goalie Spencer Viele with a well-placed rising shot that snuck its way under the crossbar and inside the goalpost for a 3-0 game. Viele's night ended with a lackluster 4 saves on 7 shots.

That lead would eventually be completely erased. With 12:19 left, Clint Garris broke Cooper Cook's shutout bid, followed by Collin Montgomery cutting the deficit to a single goal. Less than three minutes later, Tyler Poulsen tied what had once appeared to be an insurmountable lead for the Wildcats. Before the Wildcats' fans could ask "How in the world did that just happen - the Roadrunners took the lead on a Tyler Andrew goal. All of this happened in a 7:45 span. Andrew added an insurance goal via the powerplay with 30 seconds left.

NOTES: Saturday's shorthanded goals were the first allowed by Topeka this season. The Wildcats only managed 14 shots on goal Saturday, their lowest output of the season. Eliot Grauer now leads the Wildcats in points with 20; 13 of those have come in the last 8 games. Marshall Tema, out since going headfirst into the boards in Odessa on November 9, has returned to the team; there is no timetable set for his return.

Scouting the Amarillo Bulls, December 9

The Wildcats get in one more game before a lengthy December break as they'll face the Amarillo Bulls on Sunday out in West Texas. For those planning on making the drive out, puck drops at 6 pm.

The Bulls will be coming off a busy schedule, as they'll play Friday and Saturday in Odessa before retuning home to cap off the Weekend against the Wildcats. Three of their forwards-T.J. Sarcona, Mike Davis, and Tyler Deresky-have each averaged over a point per game this season. Their 4.5 goals and 37.1 shots per game are both best in the NAHL.

The Wildcats and Bulls have faced each other twice this season, with the Bulls taking both games in October in Wichita Falls 8-1 and 5-1. The teams also squared off twice in the preseason, with each team winning once.

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 open skating schedule and prices updated through January 2 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!

Alumni Report


Zach Trotman had two assists Friday, followed by his first goal of the season Saturday as the Providence Bruins won against Connecticut and Portland, respectively. He was also named third star of the game Friday and first star Saturday.


At this point, we may as well just save time and link to Chad Costello's page at ECHL.com every week. He finished November with a point in every Colorado Eagles game, putting up multiple points in nine of 13. His scoring streak ended at fourteen games though, held off the sheet on Saturday against Idaho.

Kyle Kraemer made the transition from November into December nicely for the Orlando Reign: he had a goal and an assist in Wednesday's win over Orlando, and then did the same Saturday in a loss to Alaska.


Brian Sheehan had two goals for Sacred Heart in a pair of losses to Niagara.

Dakota Klecha scored a goal in Ferris State's 5-0 Friday throttling of the Michigan Wolverines.

Tyler Lundey scored the eventual game-winner, and added an empty-net goal as Ohio State beat Michigan State 3-1 on Saturday.


Kyle Gallegos had a goal and two assists for Tufts in a pair of losses.

Nick Hopper stopped 38 of 39 shots Friday, then 35 of 37 on Saturday as Wisconsin-Stout swept St. Scholastica. Ricky Doriott also added a goal in Saturday's win.

Brett Kaneshiro had three assists as Curry went 1-0-1 over the weekend.

Ryan Frost put up a goal and an assist in a Castleton victory over St. Michael's on Friday.

Zack Josepher put up a goal and two assists as SUNY-Oswego beat Potsdam 6-0 Friday. They are currently ranked #1 in the nation at the Division III level.

Shaun Jameson had five assists and Curtis Heinz had two as Wentworth beat Becker 9-2 and lost to Nichols 4-3.


Luke Salazar had a pair of assists in Frisk Asker's 6-1 win over Rosenborg Elite on Thursday in Norway's GET-Ligaen action.

Former Wildcats' coach Mike Flanagan's team in Italy, HC Valpellice Bodino, is currently in fourth place in Serie A. Fiat Professional Val Pusteria, with former Wildcat forward Thomas Erlacher, is sitting in first place.

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North American Hockey League Stories from December 3, 2012

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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