The Texas Tornado lost a close one to the Amarillo Bulls last night and were looking to get off the schnide with a win in the final game of the series. However, Amarillo jumped out to an early lead when Joe Grabowski shoveled a rebound from in front of the Bulls’ net to the near boards. TJ Sherman sent it out of the zone and Carter Pienzen chipped it past Nick Neville to get an unobstructed path to the net. Pienzen drove the net and put a back hander over Hunter Leisnerat 3:19.
At 17:24 Amarillo was whistled for a too many men minor putting the Texas Tornado power play on the ice. Right at half way through the power play, Brandon Hawkins sent a D-to-D pass to Neville at the far point for a slapshot. Max Shuart was in front and redirected the shot past Paul Berrafato to tie the score.
With only seconds left in the first Jason Eddy and Omar Mullan tied the puck up along the end boards. As the horn sounded Mullan threw a jab at Eddy and Eddy responded by dropping the gloves and firing a right. Mullan decided he wanted nothing to do with Eddy and latched on with a bear hug and held on for all he was worth.
The teams skated to a scoreless second period before Amarillo retook the lead early in the third. Gage Christianson sprung Ryan Cole down the near side, Neville hustled back and used a poke check to take the puck off Cole’s stick. Unfortunately, it bounced directly toSherman trailing the play and he buried it. Time of the goal was 5:47.
At 16:20 with a delayed penalty coming to Amarillo, Justin Greenberg carried the puck into the near corner with speed. Tony Curtale did something he has not done in two seasons and called Leisner to the bench and sent CJ Reuschlein over the boards. Greenberg gave the puck to Jackson Leef who carried it behind the net then sent a pass out front to Anthony Mousseau for a touch pass to the streaking Reuschlein who beat Berrafato stick side.
The Tornado’s celebration was short lived though. On the ensuing faceoff the puck ended up in the near corner where Christianson sent it to the point. TJ Sarcona backed it to the middle and sent a wrister on net that was redirected twice on its way in. Leisner flashed out the right pad and got a piece of it but the puck trickled across the line for the game winner at 16:39.
The Tornado were officially outshot 45-24 on the evening although the difference did not seem to be nearly so lopsided. Each team had two power play opportunities with Texas converting one.
Elsewhere around the NAHL South Division, the Topeka RoadRunners won 4-3 to complete the sweep of the Wichita Falls Wildcats. Corpus Christi and Odessa had the weekend off.
With the loss to the Bulls the Tornado have now lost six in a row and fallen from first place in the division to third one point behind Topeka. The RoadRunners have two games in hand over Texas so gaining home ice advantage is going to be an up hill battle for the Tornado. Topeka will visit Frisco next weekend for a series that could well determine home ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs.