The Texas Tornado rebounded from Friday night’s game where they were completely outplayed to put in a respectable showing on Saturday, yet still came up on the short end of a 2-1 score. The first period got off to a bang as Louie Rowe and Dan McNamaradropped the gloves on the opening faceoff. Once order was restored the teams played a physical first 20 minutes, but ended the period in a scoreless tie.
The second period saw Amarillo jump out to the first lead of the game at 6:15. Gage Christianson fired a shot from the top of the near circle with Ryan Cole stationed out front. Cole got a stick on it and and deflected it past Hunter Leisner. The Bulls went up two on a drive to the net by Brady Ferguson. Ferguson carried the puck into the zone with speed, handled around the defense to the near side then went back across the grain to put it by the glove hand. Time of the goal was 18:14 with Christianson and Geoff Fortman getting the assists.
Texas cut the lead in half near the mid-point of the third on a face off to Paul Berrafato’s right. Brandon Hawkins pulled the draw back to Mitch Mueller at the near point for a big one-timer. Jackson Leef drove the net and powered the rebound over the left pad. The Tornado seemed to pick up some momentum from the goal and put pressure on the Bulls defense, but were unable to solve Berrafato and pull even.
Amarillo out shot the Tornado 39-26 on the night and neither team was able to convert on the power play with Texas 0-4 and Amarillo 0-3. The Tornado had the number one road power play in the league but went 0-10 in the series. With the sweep the Tornado went from first place in the NAHL South one point ahead of the Bulls, to second place three points back.
Elsewhere around the NAHL South Division, the Topeka Roadrunners bounced back to defeat the visiting Corpus Christi Icerays 3-2. Wichita Falls took advantage of the Icerays loss as they downed the Odessa Jackalopes 4-3 in an eight round shootout. With the Corpus Christi loss and the Wildcats sweep, Wichita Falls now sets just three points out of the fourth and final playoff spot.