By Ben Horner
Lone Star 4 @ Wichita Falls 3 (SO) - A late goal by Cam Knight helped the Wichita Falls Wildcats (31-12-1) earn a point, but it was not enough to keep the Lone Star Brahmas (30-10-7) from claiming a 4-3 victory in a shootout at the Kay Yeager Coliseum on Wednesday night.
After the two teams traded spurts of offensive-zone possession through the first few minutes of the game, Wichita Falls found the net first following a faceoff win in the defensive zone.
With the draw to the left of goalie David Zevnik, Colin Staub pulled the disc back to Nikita Litviak, who skated to the blue line and lofted it down the ice. Austin Beaulieu raced to negate the icing and, after beating everyone to the puck at the end line, he played a blind backhand pass in front, where Staub roofed it under the cross as he crashed the crease to make it 1-0 at the 9:45 mark of the frame.
The ‘Cats opened the second period by killing of carry-over time in a tripping penalty to Litviak, but Lone Star capitalized on a power play later in the frame to tie the affair. Austin Albrecht was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct for head contact at 9:13 of the period. After two minutes of four-on-four play, the Brahmas went on a three-minute power play and tied the game on Liam Stirtzinger’s goal with 14 seconds remaining in the man advantage.
The Brahmas took their first lead of the contest early in the third when Alexey Solovyev snuck a shot from the point through traffic to push the score to 2-1. Later in the frame, Lone Star expanded its lead on the power play when Anton Santesson’s shot squeaked through Zevnik, making it 3-1.
Wichita Falls came roaring back immediately after, and cut into the deficit just over a minute later before finding a tying goal in the dying stages of the game. First, Litviak got the Wildcats within one at 10:59 of the third when he spun in the slot and hammered a loose puck into the top corner for his eighth goal of the season.
The ‘Cats then tied the game with barely a minute remaining on Cam Knight’s eighth of the season. With Zevnik coming to the bench for an extra attacker, Knight sprinted over the boards and raced to join the play in the offensive zone where the puck was trickling towards the middle of the blue line. Knight wound up and blasted a one-timer in full stride, pounding the puck through traffic and past Jake Kupsky to tie the game at three apiece.