Mark Simpson - Texas Tornado Booster Club: Texas Tornado forward Mitch McPherson and Wildcat defenseman Bryan McFarlane add to the fireworks.

Texas Tornado – Wichita Falls Wildcats Preview


The Texas Tornado have not faced the Wichita Falls Wildcats since a 6-1 home loss on November 21st. That loss came in the midst of the Tornado’s brutal 10 games in 18 days November schedule that saw Texas go 4-6-0 and drop from first place in the NAHL South Division. Since the end of November The Tornado have been on a roll winning eight in a row and 13 of their last 14.

Texas will travel to the Kay Yeager Coliseum this weekend for a two game set with the Wildcats who have seen a bit of a resurgence as well. The Wildcats have won five of their last seven to pull to within six points of Corpus Christi for the fourth and final playoff spot in the division. Wichita Falls has two games in hand over the Icerays so this will be a big weekend for the Wildcats. Corpus Christi will be in Odessa to face the 5-31-2 Jackalopes, so the Wildcats will be after all the points they can muster to keep pace with the Icerays. The Texas Tornado – Wichita Falls Wildcats games are typically spirited affairs and this weekend promises even more of the same.

So far this season the Tornado are 4 – 1 – 1 against the Wildcats, but have lost their last two meetings. In the six gamesTexas has outscored Wichita Falls 21 – 16.

Last 5 Games    W    L    OTL    Pts
Texas  Tornado

5

0

0

10

Wichita Falls  Wildcats

3

2

0

6

 

Special Teams

Special teams have been a strong point for the Tornado this season and could be an important factor for them against a determined Wildcats team. The Tornado road powerplay currently ranks 9th in the league at 17.1% (14-82). They will be working against a Wildcats home penalty kill that is 15th in the league at 82.8% allowing 10 goals on 58 penalty kills.

Wichita Falls will come in with a home powerplay that is mid pack in the league ranked 14th at 14.5% (12-83). Texas will counter with the number 4 road penalty kill currently setting at 89.0% allowing only 8 goals on 73 times short handed.

 

Goaltending Comparison Last 5 Games

GP

W

L

OTL

SO

GA

GAA

SV

SV%

Texas  Tornado

5

5

0

0

1

8

1.60

107

.930

Wichita Falls  Wildcats

5

3

2

0

1

15

3.00

102

.872

 

Who is Hot (Last 5 Games) 

Texas    G       A       Pts   
Scott Conway    3    5     8
Justin Greenberg    4    2     6
Jackson Leef    3    2     5
CJ Reuschlein    1    4     5
AJ Duggan    2    2     4
Wichita Falls
Eliot Grauer    3    3     6
Sami Salminen    3    3     6
Will Vosejpka    2    2     4
Tyler Ledford    1    3     4
Kyle Bauman    3    0     3

This will be a different Wildcats team than the last one the Tornado faced. Since November 21st, Wichita Falls has made several roster moves. Gone are forwards Ryan Dau, Corey Schafer and Oliver Janzen along with defensemen Scott Douglas and Bryan McFarlane. They have added veteran defenseman Kristaps Bazevics, the 6’ 3” – 195 pounder played 30 games with the Johnstown Tomahawks this season registering 3G-3A.

Tornado rookie forward Scott Conway who was the reigning South Division Star of the Week the last time these two teams met finds himself in the same position going into the weekend series. Conway put up six points 2G-4A against the Jackalopes last weekend and has points in 12 of the last 14 games registering 7G-16A over that span.

Hunter Leisner and Evan Cowley are 1st and 2nd in the league for minutes played with 2054:46 and 1785:45 respectively. Leisner also leads the league with 26 Wins and 875 Saves.

The 17 year old Cowley was recently included on the NHL Central Scouting Draft Prospects list of North American Goalies at number nine.

The Tornado have four players among the top 12 in scoring in the league. Brandon Hawkins and Scott Conway are tied for fourth with 45 points each. Justin Greenberg and Jackson Leef are tied for eleventh with 41 points each.

Brandon Hawkins leads the league in goals scored with 30.

Jackson Leef has 33 assists including 15 powerplay assists, both good for second in the league.

Scott Conway’s 32 assists is third in the league.

Texas is on a current six game road win streak while Wichita Falls is setting on a five game home win streak so someone’s streak will be snapped on Friday.

The Texas Tornado will send six players to next month’s 2013 Top Prospects Tournament while Wichita Falls will send five. Team Texas will include F Jackson Leef, F Justin Greenberg, D Michael Hoy and D Nick Neville of the Tornado along with F Conor O’Neil, F Eliot Grauer, F Kyle Bauman and D Charles Hemstrom from the Wildcats. Team 18U Selects will have F Scott Conway and F Brandon Hawkins of the Tornado and G Evan Cowley of the Wildcats.

Tags: NAHL Texas Tornado Wichita Falls Wildcats