Tornado season ends with 2-1 overtime loss
The Texas Tornado season ended on Saturday night in Frisco in Game 4 of the South Division semi-finals, as the Amarillo Bulls used an overtime power play goal from Cody Freeman to defeat the Tornado, 2-1. Justin Jones scored the lone goal for the Tornado, who outshot the Bulls for the game 35-25.
The Tornado dominated much of the 1st period despite the fact they had to kill the only two penalties in the period. Texas outshot Amarillo 10-3, but could not find the back of the net. More importantly however was the Tornado defense, who perhaps played their best period of the series thus far, limiting the Bulls offense and power play. Jimmy Kruger was rarely tested for the Tornado with three saves, while Amarillo’s Nikifor Szczerba made 10 saves.
The tight defense continued in the 2nd period, and despite again having to kill the majority of the penalties, the Tornado managed to outshoot the Bulls 12-11 in the period. The Tornado would get the game’s first goal midway through the period as a nice give-and-go play from Jimmy Murray to Justin Jones got Jones the puck in the low slot as he fired a wrist shot through the legs of Nikifor Szczerba for a 1-0 Tornado lead. The lead however would not last long as three minutes later a 2 on 1 saw the Bulls Dan Sherer get the puck to Mitch Rogge, who put a shot over Jimmy Kruger’s shoulder, off the pipe and into the net to tie the game at 1-1 heading into the 3rd period.
In the 3rd period, both teams had their chances, but the defense and goaltending again were stingy. The best chance for Texas came late in the 3rd period as they were given a power play with just over two minutes remaining, but could not convert as the game went to overtime for the first time in the series.
In the overtime, the Tornado were whistled for a tripping penalty just a few minutes into the extra period, and Amarillo wasted little time converting. As the Tornado struggled to clear the puck, Cody Freeman swooped in and picked off the loose puck in front and beat Kruger over the blocker for the series clinching goal and the 2-1 overtime win.