Four third-period goals give Tornado second straight win
Combining physical play with a powerful offense, the Texas Tornado bruised its way to a 6-1 victory over the Springfield Jr. Blues. Joakim Jutras made 28 saves for his second win in as many nights, while Texas scored four goals in the third period to coast to victory.
The Tornado opened up the scoring at the 6:47 mark of the first period when Lucas Whelan blasted a shot from the near point through a screen and past Blues goalie Connor Girard for the goal, his first of the season.
The Blues evened the score later in period, however, on nearly an identical play. With the Blues deep in the Tornado zone, the puck worked its way out to the far point where it was settled by Shayne McLaughlin. McLaughlin wound up and blasted one towards goal, where it appeared to be redirected past the left shoulder of Jutras. McLaughlin was given credit for the goal, though, and it tied the game at 1. But over the next two-and-a-half periods of play, the 17-year-old netminder would not be beaten again.
Physical play dominated the middle period, with the teams combining for 44 penalty minutes in the second. The penalties included a pair of fights, one of which resulted in an instigating penalty and a game misconduct to the Blues’ Ethan Nauman, who was ruled to have jumped Jordan Greenberg on the near side and forced him to drop the gloves. Mico Solorzano also got in on the action, handily winning a fight later in the period against Cody Kohn.
Aside from the fisticuffs, there was also a goal in the second period, as the Tornado took the lead thanks to Jack Prince. Nick Neville took a shot from the far point, which deflected off the stick of Prince in the slot and got past Girard to give Texas a 2-1 lead.
The Tornado started the third with the momentum and jumped out to a two-goal lead 3:35 into the period. Michael Hoy and CJ Reuschlein were both stopped by Girard, but Joe Mottiqua raced towards the crease from the right-wing circle and banged home the rebound to extend the Tornado lead to two goals. Just 49 seconds later, Jordan Lovick took a centering pass from Solorzano and put the second effort past Girard to make it a 4-1 game.
Texas kept the goals coming when, just two minutes following Lovick’s goal, a big rebound bounced out to Justin Greenberg in the slot. Greenberg settled the puck and fired it in for his second goal of the season. Conner Burton gave the Tornado their sixth and final goal at the 13:34 mark after he knocked in a rebound right on the doorstep after Mottiqua was denied his second goal of the game.
The Tornado have outscored its opponents 13-5 in the last two games and will look to continue their success tomorrow against the Aberdeen Wings. Opening faceoff for the Tornado’s final game of the NAHL Showcase Tournament is scheduled for 4:15.