Friday night the Texas Panhandle saw the Texas Tornado and Amarillo Bulls face off in game two of their NAHLSouth Division Finals matchup. Texas was looking to rebound from a 4-1 game one loss to knot the series at a game apiece heading back to Frisco.
Things did not start well for the Tornado as a Jackson Leef pass went off the skates of Drew Mayer turning Tyler Deresky loose on a rush up the ice. Deresky split the defense of Nick Neville and Donovan Gardner before putting it five hole on Hunter Leisner at 4:23.
Texas got one back at 18:22 thanks to a Brady Ferguson roughing minor. On the power play Justin Greenberg sent the puck to Michael Hoy at the top of the near circle and he immediately found Neville at the center point for a bomb that Brandon Hawkins redirected past Paul Berrafato. Just 18 seconds after the Tornado scored Leef picked up what has to be the softest roughing call of the season in the corner as players came together after a CJ Reuschlein scoring opportunity. The Tornado made it through the rest of the period on the penalty kill leaving 40 seconds of Amarillo power play time to start the second.
Just 15 seconds into the second period Ryan Cole pulled the puck off the far half-wall and sent a pass toward Ferguson on the back door. Neville got his stick in the way but it went off the shaft and redirected past Leisner to reestablish the Amarillo one goal lead. With the Tornado on the power play Hoy tried to keep it in a clear at the far point but it went off his skate right to Ferguson who went streaking in on Leisner and sent it under him for the short handed goal. Time of the goal was 4:09. Just over two minutes later with the Bulls buzzing in the offensive zone, Gage Christianson went for the wrap around but fanned on it. However, it turned into a perfect centering pass for Ferguson in the slot and he sent it over Leisner’s left pad. Amarillo made it five to one on an two on one odd man rush as Dan McNamara went barreling down the right side and blasted one off Leisner, Mike Davis deposited the rebound.
In the third period Garret Peterson and TJ Sherman went after Cameron Brown behind the play. Brandon Platt came to Browns defense to even things out. Platt and Sherman went to the ice immediately leaving Brown and Peterson to go. Each threw a couple rights before Brown went to a knee where Peterson threw two big rights with Brown down on the ice. Despite the Amarillo players double teaming Brown and Peterson continuing the altercation once Brown was down, every got matching fighting majors. As Brown was heading to the penalty box a couple of the Amarillo “fans” threw rubber Bulls Balls at him.
The rest of the third went off with no further scoring or fireworks and Amarillo went to the locker room up two games to none. Amarillo outshot Texas 30-27 and were 1-4 on the power play. Texas was 1-6 with the man advantage. The series will resume Tuesday evening in Frisco with the Tornado needing to win three in a row to extend their season.