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Wildcats' Insider Junior Hockey News

Published: Monday, 3 Oct 2011  
By: Drew Pelto


TopekaTakes Two

The Wildcats came out strong Saturday but couldn't keep early moment going through the whole weekend, as they got swept by the Topeka Roadrunners in a Saturday-Sunday series. Dennis Kravchenko scored three of the Wildcats' four goals on the weekend.

Saturday night started out with Kravchenko's first goal of the weekend, coming on a powerplay. Newcomer Zach Pochiro sent a long pass to Tanner Fahlstedt, who pushed the puck across the crease to a wide-open Kravchenko for a 1-0 lead. Brian Christie tied things late in the period, followed by a second period tally from Ben Bahe for a 2-1 Topeka lead.

The Wildcats struck back and regained the lead in the third, with Kravchenko scoring an unassisted shorthanded goal just over a minute into the third, followed by Renato Engler's first goal of the season, assisted byPatrick Steinhauser and Tucker Poolman for a 3-2 Wildcats lead. But only three minutes later, Kyle Sharkey tied things up once again for Topeka. In overtime, Jake Lynes swatted home a loose puck, giving the game to the Roadrunners.

The game was a typical physical affair between the two, featuring three fights-- Kravchenko dropped the gloves with Topeka's captain Cory Ramsey, Nick Szopinski scrapped with the big Dutch forward Julian Van Lijden, and even Renato Engler got in on the fun with Topeka defenseman Kevin Patterson.

Sunday's game was all Topeka early, scoring three goals in a span of less than three minutes en route to a 5-1 victory. A pair of Ryan White goals came sandwiched around Ryan Doucet's first goal of his NAHL career and the Roadrunners found themselves ahead 3-0 early, despite the Wildcats outshooting them 11-10. The second period went by scoreless, followed by a Roadrunner goal from Robbie Davis on the first shot of the third period, 15 seconds in.

The Wildcats had a chance to get themselves back into it in the third, getting a five-minute power play after Ryan White of Topeka went after Kravchenko during a stoppage, netting himself a five minute major and a seat in the locker room for the rest of the night. With a minor to Ramsey during the long power play, the 'Cats had a full two minutes of 5-on-3 time. After drawing the initial penalty, Kravchenko made the Roadrunners pay, tallying a power play goal to end Eric Rohrkemper's shutout bid midway through the third, but that was the only offense the Wildcats could muster. Kyle Sharkey added an insurance goal late to finish things off at 5-1.

The Wildcats and Roadrunners play again next weekend for two games in Topeka.

WEEKEND NOTES: Topeka goaltender Eric Rohrkemper is now 8-0-1 all-time against the Wildcats in the regular season, picking up the victory on Sunday... Currently, the Wildcats trail both Odessa (2-3-2) and Corpus Christi (3-4-0) by a point in the South Division standings... The Wildcats have scored on 20% of their power play chances this season, including 2 of 7 this weekend. They rank eighth in the league with the man advantage, and tenth on the penalty kill, with 86.8% of penalties killed thus far.

Preview: Wildcats at Topeka, Friday and Saturday Oct. 7 and 8

The Wildcats hit the road this weekend to take on the Topeka Roadrunners for the second weekend in a row. The two teams will have completed half of their head-to-head schedule after these two games in Kansas.

Ryan White leads the Roadrunners in points with 9, and is tied for the team lead in goals and assists with four and five, respectively.

Upcoming Wildcats' Events

The Wildcats' Golf Tournament will be held on Tuesday, October 25 at River Creek Golf Course. Players will be put in teams of four, with each foursome containing a Wildcats' player or coach. The cost is $40 per player if registered in advance, or $50 at the door. To register yourself please call the Wildcats' office at 940-716-5587.

Sponsorships for the Golf tournament are available as well- $50 for a hole sponsorship, with other opportunities available as corporate sponsors or sponsors of various prize holes, such as longest drive or closest to the pin. Contact the Wildcats' office for details.

Hockey In Heels returns to the Kay Yeager Coliseum on Thursday, November 3 at 7 pm. It's a Hockey 101 course for women, taught by the Wildcats' coaches. The cost is $25, or $18 for those under 18 and is sponsored by Kathy's Bakery in Iowa Park. To register, call Katherine Isenhour in the Wildcats' office.

Adult hockey, and open skating: Check for the schedule under the Games and Ice Events tab! We also offer birthday party packages at a Wildcats game or an open skating session. Any questions about our ice programs? Contact Sarah Scrivner in the Wildcats office.

Alumni Report

Dan Sexton was sent to the Anaheim Ducks' minor league affiliate in Syracuse. He and 05-06 Wildcats teammate Chris Nutini will be on the same team for the first time since leaving Wichita Falls. Sexton scored a goal and had two assists in Syracuse's first preseason game, beating Toronto 4-1.

Andrew Conboy is also has rejoined his team's AHL affiliate, being sent by Montreal to Hamilton. He picked up an assist in their preseason 4-3 win against Binghamton on Friday.

We'll have more info on former Wildcats' players at the collegiate ranks as the NCAA and ACHA seasons get closer!


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