Wildcats nip IceRays on Thursday, 5-4
January 23, 2015
By Ben Horner, Wichita Falls Wildcats
Corpus Christi 4 @ Wichita Falls Wildcats 5 – Colin Staub picked up his 100th career point, and the power play scored three times, as the Wichita Falls Wildcats held off a late charge from the Corpus Christi IceRays to claim a 5-4 win at the Kay Yeager Coliseum in the lone NAHL game on Thursday night.
Staub had a goal and an assist, and Jake Townsend potted a pair of goals for his second two-goal game of the season. Austin Beaulieu also had a multi-point night, netting a goal and two assists, while Paul Soubry also found twine for the ‘Cats in the win.
The first period saw Wichita Falls race out to a two-goal edge on a pair of power-play tallies, before Corpus Christi netted a man-advantage goal of its own to cut the score to 2-1.
After an offensive-zone penalty by the IceRays just 1:28 into the contest, the ‘Cats went to work on their first power play, with Beaulieu punching it home for his first goal in seven games to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.
Corpus Christi took a penalty on that goal-scoring sequence, sending the Wildcats right back to the power play, and the result the second time around was the same as the first. This time, Staub controlled the puck in the corner and back towards the net along the goal line, before spinning a feed towards the slot. The loose disc fell to Townsend, who slammed it home to give Wichita Falls a 2-0 edge at 3:45 of the first, and to give Staub his 100th career point on the assist.
The ‘Rays cut into the deficit at 14:08 of the frame, as Ryan Cusin buried a centering feed from Tanner Lomsnes to make it a 2-1 contest, which is how the score stood entering the intermission.
The Wildcats came out the stronger side to start the second stanza, outshooting the IceRays 13-3 in the early stages of the period, before they made that pressure pay with another power-play goal.
Wichita Falls worked the puck around the top of the zone. Cam Knight let a quick shot go from the blue line that was turned aside by Andrew Lindgren, but Staub was on hand to mop up the rebound to make it 3-1.
The IceRays responded just as they did in the first, using a power play marker of their own to carve into the ‘Cats lead. This time, it was Lomsnes getting the goal, as he tipped home a Wes Michaud one-timer to pull Corpus Christi within one at 12:38 of the frame.
Wichita Falls and the IceRays traded a pair of goals in the third period, with the Wildcats striking first.
Barely 90 seconds into the third, Townsend ripped a slap-shot from just inside the blue line that eluded Lindgren to make it 4-2 ‘Cats on his second goal of the night.
That tally was cancelled out soon after by Lomsnes picking up his second of the night, but once again the Wildcats would push their lead to two, with Soubry getting credit for the goal after the ‘Cats forced the puck past Lindgren out of a netmouth scramble to make it 5-3 at 9:53 of the third.
A marker from Maksim Dzhioshvili took the score to 5-4 just 40 seconds later, as he jammed home a rebound from a Joe Chitwood breakaway, but that was all Corpus Christi could muster, as Wichita Falls held on for the 5-4 triumph.
Wildcats netminder Austin Shaw (16-5-0) picked up the win, stopping 26 of 30 shots, while Lindgren (14-8-3) earned the loss, turning aside 37 of 42 shots.