Todd Koritzinsky scored his first goal as a Wildcat but it was not enough to prevent Topeka from claiming a 2-1 victory at the Kay Yeager Coliseum on Friday.
Colin Staub and Tyler Ledford had assists in the contest, which saw Wichita Falls (23-18-3) outshoot the Roadrunners by a 40-25 margin, while Chase Munroe made 23 saves in the losing effort.
The first period started evenly, as the teams traded chances in the opening few minutes, but the Wildcats eventually took control and opened the scoring late in the frame.
With the puck in the Wichita Falls offensive zone, Staub and Ledford combined to work the disc free behind the net of PJ Bridges. Ledford than spun a quick pass that landed right on the stick of Koritzinsky, who one-touched the puck home from the top of the crease. The tally, which came at 18:11 of the period, marked his fifth of the year and first for the Wildcats.
The Roadrunners evened the score in the second period, taking advantage of their fifth power play of the night. With Kristaps Bazevics in the box, Cody Champagne took the puck at the blue line, and with open ice in front of him, he ripped a shot through a screen to make it 1-1 at 16:04 of the frame.
In the third period, Topeka took the lead against the run of play, springing a transition rush off a defensive zone face-off. Yu Hikosaka, leading the play, drew the Wildcats defenseman towards him before dishing to Jake Kamrass, who roofed his shot to make it 2-1 at 10:44 of the third.
Wichita Falls threw shot after shot on net in search of a tying goal in the closing stages of the contest, but Topeka held on to claim the 2-1 win.
The Wildcats are back in action on Saturday at 7:05 p.m., when they face off against the Roadrunners to wrap up a nine-game home-stand. Saturday is Fan Appreciation Night at the Kay Yeager Coliseum, with free admission for all fans. Those that cannot make it to the KYC can catch all the action on FASTHockey.com, with an audio-only broadcast available on UStream.com.
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