Driving to Five
Five wins in a row.
Four points out of fourth.
Three shootout wins (all against the IceRays).
Two NAHL South Division Stars of the Week in a row.
One goal: PLAYOFFS.
The Wildcats extended their winning streak to five games with a sweep of the Corpus Christi IceRays. The 'Cats eked out a 1-0 victory on Tuesday, followed by a 4-3 shootout win on Wednesday.
Evan Cowley had his best game of the season with a number of scouts in attendence on Tuesday, shutting down 24 IceRays shots en route to a 1-0 victory. The lone goal cane 5:10 into the game, with Kyle Bauman tallying his team-leading 17th of the year off Jake Townsend's assist. The game was largely a defensive battle, as Hayden Stewart at the IceRays' end stopped 33 of the 34 he faced in 59 minutes in goal.
Wednesday's game was significantly more exciting, with the Wildcats pulling out a 4-3 shootout win. Cowley and Eliot Grauer came up big when needed, with Cowley stopping all 5 IceRays in the shootout, while Grauer had a goal in regulation as well as the only shootout tally.
Conor O'Neil got the Wildcats off to a fast start with a goal only 2:41 in, but the IceRays struck back for their first goal in over 150 minutes played as Grant Hutton redirected a Mike Economos shot for his first NAHL goal, knotting the game at 1. The IceRays gained the lead later in the period with Brandon Smith slipping one past Cowley for a 2-1 game.
The Wildcats struck back nicely in the middle period as Eliot Grauer retied the game at 2-2 off a perfectly-played 2-on-1 with Sami Salminen. Will Vosejpka then struck on the power play on a scramble in front of Stewart, giving the Wildcats a 3-2 lead. The Cats held their one-goal cushion until the middle of the third when Emil Romig tied it back up for the IceRays.
The Wildcats' penalty killers were a strong point for the team, especially late in the game, killing off a minor that carried over into the first 40 seconds of overtime. Each team had a single shot on goal in the extra frame, but nothing got through, sending the game into a shootout.
Grauer, the third of four Wildcats shooters netted the only goal, slipping the puck through Stewart's five-hole to give the 'Cats an advantage that was sealed off with five saves on five shooters by Evan Cowley.
The Wildcats travel to Topeka for two games this weekend at 7 pm Friday and Saturday.