4-3 loss to Wildcats snaps Tornado four-game win streak
A goal by C.J. Reuschlein with 16.9 seconds left in the third period tied the game and forced overtime for the Texas Tornado on Friday, but Dennis Kravchenko’s diving shot at the 2:13 mark gave the Wichita Falls Wildcats the 4-3 victory. The overtime loss snaps a four-game win streak, but they have collected at least a point in every game but the first of the season. The Wildcats came back from a 2-0 second-period deficit by scoring three straight goals to take the lead in the third before Reuschlein tied it. Reid Mimmack made 26 stops on the night, but was handed his first defeat in a Tornado uniform.
Things went according to plan for Texas in the first period, when they converted on their first power-play opportunity of the game. With Kravchenko in the box serving a minor penalty for checking from behind (he was also assessed a misconduct on the play), Lucas Whelan’s shot from the point hit a couple of bodies in front and came to the stick of Jordan Greenberg. Greenberg took a shot that made its way through a screen, slowed down, but trickled over the goal line for the opening score of the game.
It remained a 1-0 game through the first period, with Texas outshooting the Wildcats 17-6 during the first 20 minutes. Midway through the second period, the Tornado went on the power-play again, and this time it was Mico Solorzano who cashed in. Tyler Rostenkowski settled the puck at the left point and shot it towards goal, where it was deflected by Solorzano past Wildcats goalie Tyler Green and into the net.
With the Tornado now up 2-0 in the second period and the teams skating 4-on-4, the Wildcats cut the lead in half at the 13:24 mark. After Brennan Parker took an inadvertent stick to the face and was caught behind the play, he slowly made his way to the bench and was replaced by Nathan Chasteen. When the Wildcats regained control, Nash Worden sent a pass out to Chasteen, who had no one between him and Mimmack, and slid one past the Tornado goalie to make it a 2-1 game.
On the faceoff immediately following the goal, Worden and Solorzano proceeded to drop the gloves at square off at center. Solorzano got the best of the Wildcats defenseman, but each went to the box for five minutes. With the intensity ramping up, the teams continued to bang bodies until the second period ended, but the Tornado held on to the one-goal lead.
But the Wildcats found a way to beat Mimmack a couple of times in the third. Both Kravchenko and Renato Engler took shots from the right-wing circle, and both appeared to have been deflected by a defenseman, and Mimmack could stop neither. Kravchenko’s goal tied it 3:31 into the third, and Enger’s gave the Wildcats the lead at 7:04.
The Wildcats continued to lead throughout the third, and when captain Jack Prince was sent to the box for tripping with 2:04 to play, things looked bleak for the Tornado. But with 16.9 seconds to go in regulation, Reuschlein slammed home a rebound to tie the game and force overtime.
Kravchenko struck again for the Wildcats, however, and this one was the game-winner. He entered the zone with speed, skated into the slot, and had it poke-checked off his stick. He continued to work though, extended his stick, dove towards the goal, and somehow poked it past Mimmack to give the Wildcats the victory.
The Tornado will be back in action on Saturday at Dr Pepper Arena for the first of two games this weekend against the Topeka RoadRunners. Opening faceoff on Saturday is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Three Stars of the Game
3. Renato Engler
2. C.J. Reuschlein
1. Dennis Kravchenko