The game started much as it did last night with the Tornado controlling play for most of the period, but neither team could put the puck in the net. The big highlight of the period was a huge hit along the far boards in the Jackalopes zone by Jason Eddy that left Ryan Doucetdazed. It took Doucet several seconds to make his way to the bench.
On the opening faceoff of the second period the puck found it’s way behind Jerry Kaukinen’s net. Texas tried to ring the puck around the boards, but Lawrence Cornellier knocked it down in the corner and fed it to a wide open Taylor Portner in the slot. Portner sent a point blank onetimer over Kaukinen’s right pad. Time of the goal was 0:15. Again the Tornado took control of the period registering 11 of the next 14 shots on goal but were unable to solve Deery. With just 16 seconds left in the period Cornellier pulled the puck off the far half wall and found Josh Racek in front. Alex Temby went down to block the shot and Racek elevated the puck over Temby and past the glove hand of Kaukinen. Austin Ho picked up the secondary assist on the play.
Odessa scored again early at the 1:42 mark in the third to take a three goal lead. John Feemster and Mike Mezzano teamed up to send Jimmy Peplinski racing into the zone and he fired a wrister from about 30 feet that beat Kaukinen glove side for a goal that the Texas Tornado netminder would love to have back.
Texas finally got on the board at 5:22 of the period when CJ Reuschlein won an offensive zone faceoff back to Michael Hoy at the near point. Hoy sent a pass to Louie Row in the high slot, Rowe settled the puck then fired a wrister over Derry’s left shoulder. Less than a minute later the Tornado pulled within a single goal when Nick Neville gave the puck to Brandon Hawkins in neutral ice. Hawkins skated it across the blueline and went top shelf just under the crossbar. The goal was Hawkins’ league leading 25th of the season. Scott Conway was awarded the second assist on the goal. Unfortunately for Texas that is as close as they would get despite several good scoring chances and the period ended with a flurry of shots from just outside the crease with Derry stopping them all.
Both teams were 0 – 1 on the powerplay and Texas outshot Odessa 36 – 10.
Following the game Texas Tornado head coach Tony Curtale said that the team “needed to play smarter offensively”. He pointed out that they spent too much time at the side of the net when the game is played in front of the net.
The Tornado will now head off for the Christmas break returning to the Dr. Pepper Arena ice December 28th and 29th to host the Corpus Christi Icerays.