Wildcats Still Winless in January - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Wildcats Still Winless in January

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Ledford's Three Points Not Enough as Fairbanks Earns 5-4 Win

WICHITA FALLS, Texas - Tyler Ledford had a goal and two assists, and Jake Townsend also had a goal and an assist, but a late third period goal by Fairbanks doomed the Wichita Falls Wildcats (21-16-3) to a 5-4 defeat at the Kay Yeager Coliseum on Saturday night.

Will Vosejpka and Kyle Bauman also scored for Wichita Falls, while Matt Koch and Colin Staub each chipped in with an assist in the losing effort.

The Wildcats opened the scoring in the contest, taking advantage of a power play opportunity to get on the board. Townsend's point shot was blocked to Ledford at the left circle, who played it back to the point for Townsend, then went to the front of the net. Townsend ripped a second effort towards the cage, which was tipped home by Ledford at 16:59 of the first. The tally was Ledford's fifth of the campaign, and marked the first time in eight contests the Wildcats had scored first.

Fairbanks responded soon after, as Kyle Lee finished off Ethan Somoza's centering pass, but Wichita Falls regained the lead less than a minute later. After the Wildcats lost an offensive zone draw, Staub created a turnover and touched the puck along to Vosejpka. From the bottom of the left circle, Vosejpka ripped a shot over the shoulder of Kevin Aldridge for his 12th goal of the season, but the lead was short-lived.

The Ice Dogs evened up the score with time winding down in the first. The Wildcats lost a faceoff in their defensive zone, which allowed Chandler Madry to feed a pass from behind the net to Somoza in the slot, who beat Munroe to make it 2-2.

The Wildcats regained the advantage early in the second stanza while shorthanded. After Koch cleared the zone, Ledford picked up the puck in front of the Fairbanks bench and rifled a cross-ice pass to a streaking Townsend. Taking the pass in stride, Townsend entered the zone with space to shot and sniped the top corner. The goal was his sixth marker of the year, and the Wildcats' league-leading 11th shorthanded goal.

Once again, Fairbanks answered right back. First, Brett Gervais beat Munroe with a shorthanded wrister to make it 3-3 at 9:34 of the second. The Ice Dogs had the lead less than 45 seconds later, as Colton Wolter corralled Ben Campbell's slap-pass and stashed it home to make it 4-3.

Wichita Falls evened the affair early in the third period through a great individual rush by Bauman. The speedy forward picked up the puck in the defensive zone and charged up ice, rushing coast to coast and splitting the Ice Dogs defense. Bauman faked a shot, and then deked around Aldridge before tucking the puck home to make it 4-4 just 37 seconds into the third period.

The remainder of the third period featured back-and-forth play, as both teams traded quality chances. Staub had the best chance for the Wildcats, as he whistled a close-range shot wide of the post inside the last two minutes.

As time wound down, the contest appeared destined for overtime until Townsend lost an edge behind his own net, turning the puck over to Wolter at the circle. Wolter then centered to an open Lonnie Clary, who spiked it past Munroe to make it 5-4 with 42 seconds remaining, sending Wichita Falls to its sixth-straight defeat.

The Wildcats are next in action on Wednesday, Jan. 29 when they host the Lone Star Brahmas at 7:05 p.m. on Church Youth Group Night. All youth groups can receive free admission to that contest by calling (940) 716-5587 to reserve tickets. Fans that cannot make it to the game can follow all the action on FASTHockey.com, with an audio-only stream available on UStream.com.

Scoring Summary

1st Period

Wichita Falls - Tyler Ledford (power play) (Jake Townsend) 16:59
Fairbanks - Kyle Lee (Ethan Somoza, Chandler Madry) 18:07
Wichita Falls - Will Vosejpka (Colin Staub, Tyler Ledford) 18:55
Fairbanks - Ethan Somoza (Chandler Madry) 19:47

2nd Period

Wichita Falls - Jake Townsend (shorthanded) (Matt Koch, Tyler Ledford) 1:47
Fairbanks - Brett Gervais (shorthanded) (Wyatt Ege, Nick Hinz) 9:34
Fairbanks - Colton Wolter (Ben Campbell) 10:13

3rd Period

Wichita Falls - Kyle Bauman (unassisted) 0:37
Fairbanks - Lonnie Clary (Colton Wolter) 19:18