The Texas Tornado completed the sweep of the Jackalopes despite a spirited fore-check by Odessa early. The first period was already more than a quarter gone before the Tornado got their first shot on goal. Then at 10:18 Scott Conway picked the pocket of an Odessa defender in the offensive zone and put on a stick handling clinic as he split two defenders. Conway worked his way to the front and fired a shot over the left pad.
Odessa came back right at a 1:30 later when Jimmy Peplinski pulled the puck out of the far corner to Dylan Campbell cruising down the slot. He made a move with the forehand getting Hunter Leisner to bite on the near post then went to the backhand for the goal.
Texas retook the lead at 17:17, a Brando Hawkins minor penalty had just expired and the puck was sent into the zone as Hawkins escaped the box. He chased the puck down deep in the offensive zone and sent it off the cross bar. Odessa got to chasing and Conway pulled the puck off the back of the net sending it out front to Mitchell McPherson and he buried it. Michael Hoy picked up the secondary assist on the play. It took the Tornado just 17 seconds to add another goal. Leo Lumm took the puck behind the net and out the near side where he went for the wrap around. The puck went off of Phil Heinle and directly to AJ Duggan who had set up shop just off the far post. Duggan wasted no time in sending over Heinle’s left pad.
Conway got things kicked off again in the second. He sent the puck into the far corner to Hawkins who immediately fed it out front to McPherson for a onetimer into the back of the net.
Once again Odessa answered the Tornado goal at 10:54. Peplinski and Lawrence Cornellier went on a two on one break with Peplinski carrying the puck down the far boards. Nick Blasé wiped Peplinski out with a big hit just inside the blueline. Cornellier grabbed the puck and went in all alone on Leisner putting the puck just under the crossbar.
Early in the third period Duggan stripped an Odessa forward heading out of the zone along the near boards. He saucered a pass to Lumm in the high slot and Lumm used the defenseman as a screen as he sent it five hole on Heinle. Time of the goal was 2:18.
“Offensively we were pretty good after getting off to a slow start,” said head coach Tony Curtale. “We were up against a good team that is well coached, they just haven’t had a lot of luck this season.”
The Tornado tripled the Jackalopes in shots on goal at 49-16. Neither team converted on the powerplay Odessa going 0-3 and Texas 0-5. Texas has now won eight straight and 13 of 14.
Elsewhere around the NAHL South Division Corpus Christi saw the Amarillo Bulls come back twice to knot the score sending the game to overtime and then a shootout. The Icerays prevailed in the shootout downing the Bulls 4-3. Topeka had a bit tougher time of it tonight with the Wichita Falls Wildcats, but got two goals late in the third from Sean Gaffney to complete the sweep at home by a score of 3-1.