And so, here we are again. September 5, the puck drops on the Wildcats' first preseason game as they take on the WSHL's Tulsa Rampage in the first game of a two-game weekend set.
I'll be updating the action here, so keep your finger on that Refresh button. Latest info will appear at the top, so if you are reading this after the game, read from the bottom of this entry to the top.
Any questions, send them to me via AIM. My screen name is WildcatsHockey73 (take note, I screwed it up before; this is now correct).
9:20: That'll do it! Wildcats win this one 5-0, outshooting Tulsa 39-20. Three stars are Hartung third with 2 assists, Jarboe second with the shutout, and Cahill first with 2 goals. The teams go again tomorrow; I won't be able to live-blog it, but I will have some write-ups afterward.
9:17: Finally, back to 5 on 5. Tulsa managed 9 shots on goal during these PP opportunities, almost as many as they had managed in the entire game before that (11). One more WF penalty, Heinz off, checking from behind.
9:15: Another Wildcats penalty, Hooking on Dyer. :43 left in the first penalty, :13 in the second one. Official attendance tonight: 517
9:12: Erlacher off for a hook, Cats on the PK. And now, tack on a slashing call on Curtis Heinz. Tulsa 2-man advantage for 1:30.
9:05 (both the current time and time left in the game): Back to 5 on 5, shots 36-10 in favor of the Cats.
9:03: Hooking call on Craig Martin puts the Cats on the PP again.
9:02: Still no sign of Aaron Quick's return. He may just be kept out of the rest of the game as a precaution.
9:00: WF PP, Tulsa's Michael Criscuolo off for slashing.
8:59: Back to 5 on 5. Only two shots in this period so far, one for each team.
8:57: 5-0 now, shorthanded goal scored on a rebound by Cahill (second of the game), assist to Hartung.
8:55: Interference call coming against WF's Justin Hancock. Off to the penalty kill we go.
8:53: I didn't see Michael Hill out on the ice at all in the second period after his mysterious problems in getting back to the bench after a hit in the first (though I may just not have noticed him). The good news is he just finished a shift, so it would seem that he's alright.
8:51: Wildcats third goal was changed to Shaun Jameson from Kyle Delaurell and Jeff McNeil.
8:49: Aaron Quick just took a nasty shot and went straight to the locker room. Not sure what happened, but he was laid out flat on his front, sliding along, got up, whistle blew for an offside call, and he headed straight for the locker room door.
8:47: Fight! Off the opening faceoff of the third, Broderick Browne and Mike Zielke squared off. Big size difference (6'4" 205 vs. 5'10" 165), but Zielke hung in well. Browne's reach was too much for Zielke to be effective, but he landed a couple shots before Browne caught him with a big shot to the back of the head that sent him down.
8:45: First comment of the night! In response to the questions, the guys are all looking pretty good out there, the defense has been effective, not too rough-and-tumble but it's also early. I know we'll be seeing some good hitters out there from what I saw in the August camp. As for particular standouts, definitely Aaron Quick and Kyle Delaurell so far. On defense, no one has really stood out more than anyone else, all eight have looked good in their time on the ice.
8:43: Back to the keyboard, and we're just about three minutes from the start of the third.
8:28: End of the second period, Cats lead 4-0, outshooting Tulsa to the tune of 32-8. Once again, I'm off to a break, back in about 20 minutes. And as always, questions, comments, the AIM name is WildcatsHockey73. I'll answer anything sent as soon as I get back.
8:25: Great work by the Hartung-Cahill-Erlacher line. I swear all three of them were right in crashing the crease, looking for rebounds, looking for redirects, and doing an all-around excellent job of keeping Tulsa from getting to the puck.
8:22: Oh... my... God. That was awesome. First off, great passing from Matt Kenline and I thought one other (Kenners got the lone assist though) to set it up, then right in front Aaron Quick roofed a backhander as he was falling to make it 4-0.
8:20: Goal by Jeff McNeil, assists to Kyle Delaurell and Shaun Jameson.
8:19: Power Play Goal! Scoring coming soon.
8:17: Tack on another one, 4-minute high sticking called on Dustin Meyer. Wildcats up two men for the next 1:35, then a man advantage for 2:25.
8:16: Tulsa's Cothel McDaniel off for charging, Cats on the PP again.
8:14: For the record, it's still 2-0, shots 24-8 in the Cats' favor. Second period has been a bit yawn-worthy.
8:12: Matching minors are up, as is McNeil's misconduct.
8:10: Matching minors to Matt Kenline and Tulsa's Craig Martin for roughing.
8:05: For those wondering abour Nash and Erlacher (neither were in the main camp in August), Nash played for the LA Kings AAA and is a prospect of the WHL's Tri-City Americans. He's a lefty d-man from Oxnard, CA, was 7-21-28 with 66 PIM in 58 games for the Kings. Erlacher is from Italy, played for both the Italian National Junior Team and the Brunico Val Pusteria Wolves from the 2004-05 season to the 2007-08 season. With Brunico, he was 1-6-7 with 82 PIM in 77 games. In the WJC, he's played 20 games, going 10-13-23 with 45 PIM.
8:02: Couple of nice chances for Broderick Browne. Big kid, has great hands to go with the size.
8:01: And again, back to five on five.
7:59: Hooking call on Aaron Quick, Cats shorthanded for two minutes.
7:55: Scoring change on the Hartung goal, it was actually scored by Patrick Cahill, assists going to Zach Trotman and Hartung.
7:54: Just about a minute until we get the second period underway!
7:37: End of the first period, Wildcats hold a 2-0 lead, outshooting Tulsa 16 to 2.. I'm taking a break during the broomball game, will be back for the start of the second. If you're on AIM, don't hesitate to message me, WildcatsHockey73. I'll be around to answer once the second period starts up.
7:33: Back to 4 on 4, coming up, a WF power play for about 13 seconds.
7:32: And a 4 on 3 for the Cats as David Scott goes off, two for hooking.
7:31: Jeff McNeil off, two for unsportsmanlike conduct (served by Cahill, I believe) plus a ten minute misconduct for abuse of officials. 4 on 4 for 50 seconds, then 1:10 of PK.
7:29: And it's 4 on 4 again as Ty Smith gets two for holding. 12 seconds even, then the Cats go on the PP for 1:48.
7:27: Strangest hop ever off the end boards, fortunately Jarboe got a piece of it and Waxenburg cleared it from the doorstep. Shots on goal 11 to 2 in favor of the Wildcats.
7:26: Another penalty, this time it's Cahill going off for two minutes on an interference call.
7:23: Back to 5 on 5.
7:22: Good puck movement thus far on the PP, Hartung had a chance but got handcuffed just a bit. Great passing out of Kyle Delaurell. Let me just say he will be huge for this team this year.
7:21: Abbreviated power play for the Cats for 1:24.
7:19: Dome shot! Delaurell rings one off Zielinski's cage on a short-handed attempt. Tulsa penalty for a hold, called on Derek Thompson. We'll skate 4 on 4 for 36 seconds.
7:17: Aaron Quick off, two for interference.
7:17: Big hit in return on Michael Hill, hge has trouble getting back to the bench. May just be a skate issue.
7:16: Physical play is picking up, huge hit by McNeil at the end of a play that left Daiel Tratz a bit slow to get up. Fortunately it appears Tratz is fine.
7:15: Good penalty kill, as Tulsa wasn't able to get much set up.
7:13: McNeil off, two for tripping.
7:11: Wildcats goal again! This time it was Michael Hill less than a minute after Hartung going high glove side from the slot, assist going to Victor Karlsson (note: apparently Karlsson is wearing the #20 jersey, not Ricky Brown).
7:10: Wildcats goal! Tulsa netminder Zielinski got badly out of position and finding the back of the net easily was Brett Hartung from Patrick Cahill and Jason Nash at the 2:22 mark of the first.
7:09: More good pressure from the forwards, Kenline with a nice attempt at a redirect in front.
7:08: Good start for the top line, kept the puck in the Tulsa end for quite a bit. Opie line getting its chance now.
7:07: Puck drops, we're underway! Crowd is closer to 400 or so now; not too bad for a preseason game.
6:59: Officials are on the ice, Ref tonight is Farkas (didn't catch his first name because the speakers in here are... well, they're the KYC speakers, you've probably heard the complaints), linesmen are Tim Zemens and Mike Anderson. Starting for Tulsa: goalie Zachary Zielinski, defensemen Craig Martin and Ty Smith, forwards Bobby Watson, David Scott, and Dustin Meyer.
6:50: For proof on how big high school football is in Texas, take a look at the attendance here tonight: I just counted everyone in the arena, and got 150. Granted, it's the preseason, and there may be others at the concession stands and on the concourse, but still, Friday nights are definitely for football here. This is possibly why much of the first half schedule is played on the road. Crowds will certainly grow once the football season ends.
6:37: Wildcats' forward lines, based on the warmups, are as follows:
Broderick Browne - Jeff McNeil - Kyle Delaurell
Thomas Erlacher - Patrick Cahill - Brett Hartung
Ricky Brown - Michael Hill - Branson Yost
Matt Kenline - Tim Opie - Aaron Quick
I didn't see the D pairs, except that Brett Kaneshiro and Curtis Heinz are starting with the forward line listed first. Eight d-men are dressed tonight: Kaneshiro, Heinz, Jason Nash, Zach Waxenburg, Zachary Trotman, Shaun Jameson, Ryan Dyer, and Justin Hancock.
Goalies are Mike Jarboe and Philip Graveline.
6:33 pm CDT: The teams are warming up, I'll post Wildcats' line charts (or at least tonight's lineup) in a few minutes.