For the second time in as many games, the Wichita Falls Wildcats (18-10-3) enjoyed a six-goal outburst, as they beat the Corpus Christi IceRays, 6-1, at the AmericanBank Center on Friday.
Will Vosejpka, Ben Kucera, Nick Farmer, and Andrew Kerr each had a goal and an assist, while Kirk Van Arkel and Kyle Bauman also found the back of the net. David Zevnik stopped 29 of 30 shots he faced to earn his ninth win of
The Wildcats controlled the first period, outshooting the IceRays 19-10 in the opening frame, and were rewarded for their efforts. About halfway through the period, Josh Haverstrom gained possession off a faceoff and played it back to the point where Kerr was waiting. The Duluth, Minn. native held on a slapper, and then snuck a wrister through traffic and under the crossbar to give Wichita Falls a 1-0 advantage. The marker, coming at the 9:52 mark of the frame, stands as his first career goal.
The advantage was doubled as the opening stanza neared its completion, and once again Kerr was involved. His shot from the blue line was knocked down in front, but fell right to Van Arkel, who put it home past a sprawled-out Ben Myers for his third tally of the season.
In the second, Wichita Falls picked up right where it left off, increasing their lead to 4-0 in the span of six seconds. First, Bauman found the back of the net on the power play, as he toe-dragged inside a defender and sniped the top corner over Myers shoulder.
In the blink of an eye, the Wildcats found the back of the net again. This time it was Vosejpka who snuck a shot from the perimeter past Myers for his team-leading 11th goal of the campaign. The quick strikes were enough to chase Myers, who was subsequently replaced by Forbes Plosjaz.
Corpus Christi spoiled Zevnik's shutout bid 34 seconds into the final frame, as Sami Pokka ripped a slapshot into the roof of the net, but that was all the offense the IceRays could muster.
Wichita Falls completed a dominant performance with two more goals. Farmer made it 5-1 at the 9:29 mark of the third, sneaking a slapshot inside the post for his seventh tally of the year. Then Kucera put the icing on the Wildcats' cake with a wicked wrist shot off the back bar to make it 6-1.
Colin Staub was credited with an assist on the goal, marking his 50th career point in the North American Hockey League.
The Wildcats and IceRays will meet again on Saturday in the final game of the regular-season series between the two squads. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., with video streaming available via FASTHockey.com. Fans may
also follow the action via Ustream.com and the Wildcats official Twitter account (@WFWildcats).
Notes: With a goal, assist and fight, Andrew Kerr became the first Wildcats player this season to record a "Gordie Howe Hat Trick." The last Wichita Falls player to complete that feat was Tyler Ledford, on Jan. 21, 2013 against Odessa.
Wichita Falls - Andrew Kerr (Josh Haverstrom) 9:52
Wichita Falls - Kirk Van Arkel (Andrew Kerr, Evan Okeley) 18:49
Wichita Falls - Kyle Bauman (power play) (Matt Koch, Nick Farmer) 3:38
Wichita Falls - Will Vosejpka (Ben Kucera) 3:44
Corpus Christi - Sami Pokka (unassisted) 0:34
Wichita Falls - Nick Farmer (Jake Townsend, Will Vosejpka) 9:29
Wichita Falls - Ben Kucera (Colin Staub, Matt Koch) 19:08