PARK CITY — There is proof in the previous four home games that Wichita’s defense has found a secure identity. Even on Friday, the Wings’ defense didn’t seem ineffective, but the 19-10 loss to Rochester suggests otherwise.
“I don’t think we were bad defensively, we just made simple errors that cost us goals,” Wings defender Victor Quiroz said. “Unfortunately there were three-point goals as well, and that’s difficult to come back from. Offensively, we didn’t do what we wanted to do.”
Rochester took a 3-0 lead after Mauricio Salles scored a dead ball shot from just outside the top of the three-point arc.
The Wings had trouble in the offensive third, losing possession almost every time without taking a shot.
“We had several chances, didn’t even hit the target,” Wichita coach LeBaron Hollimon said. “Lack of focus, lack of concentration, we just weren’t clinical enough in front of the goal.”
With 3:52 remaining in the first quarter Quiroz took a shot that bounced off the boards to Andrew Hoxie’s foot for a shot and two-point goal.
Rochester gained control of the momentum again in the second quarter when Doug Miller scored on a fast break with 10:53 remaining in the half. Wichita answered with an exact copy of its first quarter goal to trail 5-4 at halftime.
“We felt like we were right in the game going into halftime. We were one point down, getting chances, and as bad as we played we’re only one point down,” Hollimon said. “We thought we had a better than good chance.”
That changed in the third quarter.
Only 1:40 passed into the period Rochester’s Evan McNeely scored from 15 yards outside of the three-point arc, and 1:12 later Rochester’s Stephen Basso scored another three-point goal.
“That’s when we had to stretch the game. It was that point when we had to change our tactics a little bit which took us out of what we’re best at,” Hollimon said. “That was definitely a point in the game that changed.”
Wichita outshot Rochester 9-4 in the third quarter, but the Lancers outscored Wichita 8-2.
Rochester scored three more goals in the fourth quarter — two when Wichita switched to a sixth attacker.
Wichita’s loss ended a four-game home winning streak. Rochester ended a six-game losing streak Friday. The last win for Rochester came against Wichita on Dec. 15.
Scoring—Rochester, Salles (three-point) (Martinez), 6:44; Wichita, Hoxie (unassisted), 11:08. Penalties—none.
Scoring—Rochester, Miller (unassisted), 4;07; Wichita, Hoxie (Quiroz), 8:08. Penalties—Rochester, Hannigan (handle the ball with hand), 4:32.
Scoring—Rochester, McNeely (three-point) (unassisted), 1:40; Rochester, Basso (three-point) (unassisted), 2:52; Rochester, Salles (unassisted), 8:38; Wichita, Tiguinho (Quiroz), 10:47. Penalties—Rochester, Fauske (pushing), 9:33; Wichita, Yearwood (tripping), 9:33.
Scoring—Rochester, Tiedt (unassisted), 0:40; Wichita, Moojen (extra attacker) (Berenzon), 8:38; Rochester, Manscuk (Fauske), 9:50; Wichita, Moojen (unassisted), 13:57; Rochester, Tiedt (unassisted), 14:04. Penalties—none.
Shots—Rochester, 7-1-4-3—15; Wichita, 3-5-9-6—23.
Goalies—Rochester, Hannigan 18 on 23 shots; Wichita, Carvalho 7 on 13, Quiroz 0 on 2.