The Texas Tornado ran their win streak to five as they came out strong and totally dominated the first period everywhere but on the scoreboard. Despite throwing 17 shots at Phil Heinle Texas only got one past the Odessa netminder and it was waved by referee Robert Lukkason.
It took the Tornado until 10:27 of the second to finally break the scoring drought. Texas was just seconds away from killing off a double minor to CJ Reuschlein when Hunter Leisner made three huge saves the last of which sprung Scott Conway down the near boards. Conway hit Drew Mayer all alone at the top of the left wing circle with a beautiful pass. Mayer drove the far post forcing Heinle to bite then went to the backhand for the goal.
Less than one minute later Odessa would knot the score at one when Lawrence Cornellier fired a shot from the far half wall that was partially blocked. The puck bounced toward goal and off Josh Racek then over Leisner’s left shoulder.The score remained tied until the 17:47 mark. Mayer won a puck battle along the end boards then sent it along the near boards. Alexey Soloviev picked it up at the point, skated it along the blueline to the center and fired it past the blocker for the eventual game winner.
The third period was all Tornado. Brandon Platt grabbed a loose puck in the high slot, used the defense as a screen and put it five hole on Heinle. Time of the unassisted goal was 3:16. At 6:10 Brandon Hawkins sent a shot from the near point which Heinle knocked down leaving the puck just off the far post. Both Conway and Mitchell McPherson took swipes at it then with Heinle flat of his back McPherson flipped the puck into the top of the net for the score.
Neither team was able to convert on the powerplay with Odessa going 0-5 and Texas 0-6. Shots on goal were heavily in favor of the Tornado at 49-15. The teams will meet again for a Saturday matinee at the Dr. Pepper Arena. Puck drop is 12 noon.
Elsewhere in the South Division Topeka put up a good effort considering the shortened roster due to last weekend’s brawl in Springfield. The Roadrunners pushed the Amarillo Bulls to overtime before a John Rey goal at 3:35 of the extra period locked up the win for the Bulls. As a result, Amarillo retained their spot atop the standings 2 points ahead of Texas and 4 up on Topeka. Corpus Christi and Wichita Falls have the weekend off.