Thursday, February 9, 2012

Tyler Hope scores twice in 3-2 upset of the South Division Leading Bulls

Wichita Falls was able to hand the Bulls only their 5th regulation loss of the season with a surprise 3-2 win over the Bulls at the Kay Yeager Coliseum back on Tuesday Night. Tyler Hope (McKinney, Texas) was able to score twice in the game as well as Patrick Yudez being able to assist on all three of the Wildcats goals as they were able to climb within a point of 5th Place Odessa and look to continue to be in close distance of the Corpus Christi IceRays as they sit just 7 points back.

However, Corpus Christi has the advantage as the IceRays have 3 games in hand (17 GMS left for Corpus Christi, 14 GMS left for Wichita Falls, 17 GMS left for Odessa) for the battle for teh 4th & Final Playoff Spot in the NAHL's South Division heating up.

A critical weekend series is on the horizon as the IceRays will host the Wichita Falls Wildcats for a weekend series at the American Bank Center this weekend where the IceRays can continue their lead for the final Playoff spot. While a Wichita Falls Domination could be as close as 3 points with a month and a half left in the regular season.

Amarillo on the other hand will travel to Frisco to play the Texas Tornado on Friday & Saturday this upcoming weekend (Both games are at 7:30 PM).

Upcoming Wichita Falls Wildcats Schedule

2/10: @ Corpus Christi Icerays  7:05 PM

2/11: @ Corpus Christi Icerays  7:35 PM

2/24: VS. New Mexico Mustangs  7:05 PM

2/25: VS. New Mexico Mustangs  7:05 PM

2/27: VS. New Mexico Mustangs  7:05 PM

Upcoming Corpus Christi Icerays Schedule

2/10: @ Texas Tornado  7:30 PM

2/11: @ Texas Tornado  7:30 PM

2/24: VS. Texas Tornado  7:00 PM

2/25: VS. Texas Tornado  7:00 PM

3/1: @ Corpus Christi Icerays  7:05 PM

Game Report by Zach Duncan of the Wichita Falls Times Record News

In Wichita Falls, Texas: By recently trading away a couple of veterans for 2012-13 tenders, first year coach Paul Baxter's plan is to build the Wildcats into a Division contender for next year.

But nights like Tuesday are a reminder that the Wildcats haven't given up on this season, and they can play with anybody at the Kay Yeager Coliseum.

Tyler Hope scored twice and linemate George Pagonis added another goal in a 3-2 victory over league leading Amarillo, which has now lost five times in regulation.

With the win, the Wildcats (16-24-4) moved to within seven points of idle Corpus Christi for the NAHL South's Final Playoff spot. All victories are worth the same two points, but beating the Bulls (34-5-7) definitely provided a boost.

"I just feel like we're a team that we really need all 20 guys going to be successful, and we've been doing that lately," said Patrick Yudez, who finished with three assists. "Hopefully we can keep that up the rest of the season and make a run at the playoffs."

The hard working Hope-Yudez-Pagonis line has accounted for six of the Wildcats 10 goals' over the past three games.

Pagonis was picked up over the Christmas Break and has meshed with Yudez, a fellow Colorado Native.

"We played together growing up, and when he got picked up, I was pretty stoked about playing together with him again," Yudez said. "We just kind of grind away at the opposition, and it seems to work."

The Bulls were without NAHL Leading scorer Brooks Behling, who was serving a one game suspension for a hit last week. But Amarillo still has six other forwards who have scored more then any Wildcat this season and wasn't an easy out.

Amarillo entered with a 24-0-3 record when scoring first, but the Bulls weren't able to add to that impressive streak Tuesday.

In an evenly matched opening period, it was Hope who slammed home a rebound after Matt Purmal's high slap shot seemed to surprise Amarillo Goalie Mike Taffe.

After surviving Amarillo's surge early in the second period, the Wildcats increased their lead to 2-0 at the 12:42 mark when Hope scored his 10th goal after a scramble in front of the Bulls net.

"We played with some urgency and we won some loose puck battles," Baxter said. "I thought that we had a high compete level, and that's what you need at this time of year. That's what you need to compete. "The Bulls converted on the power play with 5:49 left in the second when Mike Erickson scored from the side of the goal."

Nothing came easy for the Wildcats, but Pagonis' third goal in as many games gave the team a 3-1 advantage with 14:07 to play.

Matt Leon was solid in net throughout, stoning Greg Gibson twice in the second period from close range as part of his 28 saves.

Amarillo's Omar Mullen did beat the Wichita Falls held its ground in the waning minutes to secure its second win in seven games against the Bulls.
The Wildcats now head to Corpus Christi with momentum for their last two games this season against the IceRays.

"Those are two big games," Yudez said. "If we can sweep Corpus Christi this weekend, we'll be right back in the race."

Notes: The Wildcats played without forward Tyler Bruneteau who suffered a concussion last Friday. But forward Jacob Batcha returned for the first time since when he suffered a concussion on December 16 after 29 games without a penalty, Yudez has now received a two minute minor in the past three Wichita Falls was 0/6 against the league's top penalty kill and only managed one shot. The Wildcats are 0-for-28 over the last eight games with the man advantage.

1 comment:

  1. I think that it is great that Bulls has a great luck that they have a winning streak.