Killer Bees Topple Wildcats In Shootout

One shootout just wasn TMt enough for the top two teams in the NAHL TMs South Division. So they did it again Wednesday night, only this time the Rio Grande Killer Bees came out on top, besting the division-leading Wichita Falls Wildcats, 3-2. Killer Bees forward Tyler Bruneteau (Rauma, Finland) scored the first goal of the contest with less than eight minutes remaining in the first period when he played the puck on a funny bounce off the end boards and buried a shot past goalie Chase Munroe. In the second period, goaltender Olli Kalkaja (Oulu, Finland) did his part to make sure his team got to the third period with a 1-goal lead when he stoned Jordan Jancze on a breakaway. It was one of several breakaways that Kalkaja denied during this week TMs 2-game series against the Wildcats. Bruneteau also scored the Killer Bees TM second goal, which came on a power play 2:15 into the third period. The goal was of the gritty variety, scored on a rebound from the near side of the cage off of Ian Janco TMs (Bloomington, Minn.) shot from the right circle. It got us one, said Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees head coach Joe Coombs, who has been spending time recently working on the team TMs power play. It TMs all because of where Bruneteau stands, and I think some other guys on our team should take notice. It TMs the No. 1 place on the ice to score goals. Bruneteau has five goals in the last three games, including a hat trick in a 4-2 win over Lone Star Saturday. The Bees appeared to be primed to cruise to the victory, but the Wildcats had another plan and managed to tie up the contest with two goals in the final 3:16 of regulation. Rudy Junda was the first Wildcat to score with 3:16 left. Kyle Bauman followed with 1:34 remaining when he beat Kalkaja glove side from the slot. Tyler Ledford assisted on the equalizer. I thought we were the better team tonight, Coombs said, but at the same time, with a 2-0 lead with that much time left, you have to know they TMre coming. You have to play with poise. The Bees played the rest of the game with poise. Aided by a power play, the Bees dominated play in overtime. Ben Greiner (Newport Beach, Calif.) had a couple solid scoring chances in the extra five minute session, but his shots didn TMt find the back of the net and the game was decided in a shootout, just as it was in the first game of the mid-week series. Unlike the first game of the series, the Killer Bees came out on top in the shootout Wednesday. Aleksi Luhtalampi (Rauma, Finland), the first shooter in the decisive session, had his shot trickle into the cage behind Munroe to give the Bees the lead. Luhtalampi TMs shootout score was the only goal the Bees would need as Kalkaja denied all four Wildcat shooters. Anthony Croston (Phoenix, Ariz.), Rio Grande Valley TMs third shooter, also lit the lamp, doing so on a stick side wrist shot. Kalkaja made 27 saves on 29 shots to pick up his seventh victory of the season. Munroe turned aside 21 of the 23 shots he faced. Rio Grande Valley scored one power-play goal on five chances while Wichita Falls went 0-for-4 on its man-advantages.