Jason McAloon had his second multiple goal game of the season on Friday, leading the Wichita Falls Wildcats to a 5-2 victory over the Amarillo Bulls at the Amarillo Civic Center in North American Hockey League action.
The divisional and intrastate rivalries between the teams continues to blossom and the door to the penalty box would get a workout. Friday’s game had a total of 31 infractions for 100 minutes between the two teams, highlighted by seven unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
The game began calmly enough, with Amarillo taking a 1-0 lead 8:13 into the first period when Cody Freeman worked his ninth goal of the season past Wildcats goalie Tyler Green. Zack Smoot and Kyle Sucher would be credited with the assists.
Coming off a two minute penalty for tripping, Dakota Klecha would tie the game and tie the team lead in goals with his 12th of the season 13:43 into the game. Tanner Fahlstedt and Steven Hoshaw would get assists, and Klecha would get the first misconduct penalty of the game in the celebration.
The score would remain tied well into the second period when McAloon score the first if his two goals. Keil Zornow and Ryan Frost would get assists and the Wildcats took a 2-1 lead.
Patrick Yudez would extend the Wildcats lead to 3-1 with 33 seconds left in the middle period on his second goal of the season with assists from Fahlstedt and Drew Allen. The two goal advantage would take the teams into the penalty filled third period.
McAloon would waste little time increasing the Wildcats lead in the final period, scoring his eighth goal of the season 33 seconds in to give Wichita Falls a 4-1 advantage. Frost and Sean Keane would get the assists and McAloon would have a new career high, surpassing the seven goals he scored last season.
The fatal blow came at the 8:25 mark when Allen notched his eighth goal of the season with assists from Keane and Fahlstedt, giving Wichita Falls a 5-1 lead.
Amarillo would pull starting goalie Chris Eiserman in favor of backup Mac Haight in the final minutes, but the game was already out of reach.
Freeman would tack on his second goal of the game and 10th of the season for the Bulls in the final five minutes to make the final score 5-2 in favor of Wichita Falls.
The Wildcats victory improves their record to 14-7-2 with 30 points, remaining in second place in the tightly contested NAHL South standings.
Amarillo falls to 12-4-1 and drops into fourth place behind Topeka in the division.
The teams face off again on Saturday to finish the two game series in Amarillo. The puck drops at 7 pm.
In the NAHL South:
The first place Texas Tornado came out of a Wednesday match up against Wichita Falls with a 15 game winning streak. That streak came to an end Friday in Kansas with a 5-3 loss to the Topeka RoadRunners. Texas still claims a seven point lead over the Wildcats in the standings, and the RoadRunners victory coupled with the Bulls loss inches Topeka into third place.
At the bottom of the division, the Corpus Christi IceRays defeated the New Mexico Mustangs 2-1 in New Mexico on Friday. The win allows Corpus to smell fourth place with 20 points, five behind Amarillo. New Mexico remains buried at the bottom with 12 points.
NAHL South Standings:
- Texas Tornado (37 points)
- Wichita Falls Wildcats (30 points)
- Topeka RoadRunners (26 points)
- Amarillo Bulls (25 points)
- Corpus Christi IceRays (20 points)
- New Mexico Mustangs (12 points)