Evan Schmidbauer (Surrey, British Columbia) scored his second goal in as many nights Sunday, but it wasn’t enough for the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees, who were dealt a 3-1 loss at State Farm Arena by the Wichita Falls Wildcats.
After a scoreless first period, in which Rio Grande Valley outshot Wichita Falls 13-3, Will Vosejpka staked the Wildcats to a 1-0 lead with 8:58 left in the second period when he knocked in a pass from Colin Staub. Kyle Bauman also assisted.
Rio Grande Valley was trying to score the equalizer later in the second frame when the Wildcats turned the table and earned a short-handed goal by Jordan Jancze. Tyler Ledford and Andrew Kerr assisted on Jancze’s third goal of the weekend.
Schmidbauer got the Bees back into the game near the midpoint of the third period when he scored his second goal in as many days, this time on assists from Sven Jung (Bern, Switzerland) and Trent Dillinger (Gillette, Wyo.).
“That was about the best game he has played so far,” RGV Killer Bees head coach Joe Coombs said of Schmidbauer, who notched a career-high 22 points with the Wenatchee Wild last season. “He was much more comfortable and settled in defensively.”
Trailing by just a goal, the Bees stepped up their offensive pressure, but in the end the Wildcats walked away with a 3-1 after Max Reisinger scored late in the third period. Stan Sojka and Jancze assisted.
The Killer Bees outshot the Wildcats Sunday, 34-20.
“We need to fire more pucks to the net and get more people to the net,” Coombs said, making a general reference to a basic formula for increasing scoring.
Increasing shots and traffic in front of the net is part of the goal-scoring equation, but so too is generating quality scoring chances. The Bees out-chanced the Wildcats 16-6 Saturday. They also had more scoring chances Sunday night, though official totals were not yet tabulated.
“We’ll continue with the process and keep progressing,” Coombs said. “We go from here; we’re going to continue to keep getting better, that’s the bottom line.”
The Killer Bees (2-3-3) will head to Odessa this weekend for their first 2-game series (Friday, Oct. 4 & Saturday, Oct. 5) against the Jackalopes, who are 2-7 on the season.