Wildcats set wins record in 6-1 victory in Amarillo on Tuesday
March 25, 2015
Wichita Falls 6 @ Amarillo 1 - Behind three points from Austin Albrecht, two tallies from Nikita Litviak and a strong performance from Austin Shaw, the Wichita Falls Wildcats beat the Amarillo Bulls, 6-1, at the Amarillo Civic Center on Tuesday night.
With the win, Wichita Falls has set a new franchise-record for most wins in a single season (39), surpassing the mark of 38 wins set during the 2007-08 season. With the loss, the Bulls were eliminated from the South Division playoff race, as the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees and Wenatchee Wild clinched the final two spots.
Albrecht led the ‘Cats attack with a goal and two assists, and Litviak tacked on a pair of markers as well. Austin Azzinnaro (one goal, one assist) and Jonny Lazarus (two assists) also posted multi-point nights, while Tommy Apap and Kevin Charysyn also found twine for Wichita Falls in the win. Ausin Shaw made 39 saves on 40 shots to earn his 26th win of the season.
The Wildcats opened the scoring in the contest roughly halfway through the opening frame, and did so after winning the puck back on the forecheck. Austin Azzinnaro snapped a one-time effort on net, beating Jacob Weatherly between the legs to give the ‘Cats a 1-0 lead on his fifth goal of the season.
That lead was short-lived, as AJ Duggan scored unassisted off the ensuing faceoff to make it 1-1 at 8:25 of the first, but Wichita Falls bounced back well to take the lead once more. Kevin Charyszyn stepped onto a pass from Nick Farmer, walked in to the top of the right circle, and whistled a shot into the top shelf to make it 2-1.
A few minutes later, the Wildcats doubled their edge after a brilliant individual effort from Litviak. The Russian raced past a Bulls skater in the neutral zone, Litviak then turned the corner and faked a forehand effort before tucking a backhander home to give the ‘Cats a 3-1 edge on his 12th tally of the season.
In the second period, Apap found the net after some strong work by Albrecht and Lazarus to regain possession along the wall. After a neutral-zone dump-in floated to the left-wing corner, the two combined to work the puck out in front for Apap, who slipped a shot five-hole to push the score to 4-1.
A few minutes later, Litviak picked up his second of the night after another long shift in the offensive zone for the ‘Cats. Albrecht held the puck in the corner and played a pass to the tape from Staub, fresh from the bench. Staub's shot from the high slot, was stopped, but the Litviak picked up the rebound and put a backhanded effort home from the right-wing circle to make it 5-1.
Wichita Falls tacked on an insurance tally in the third period, as Albrecht capped off his big night with his ninth goal of the season to make it 6-1, which is how the contest would end.