Biggs' overtime rocket propels Tornado to victory
Marc Biggs came into the home opener at Dr Pepper Arena as the leading Tornado goal-scorer with three goals in the team’s first four games. In Friday’s game against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, he padded his lead with an overtime game-winner to give Texas a 2-1 win over the defending Robertson Cup National Champions. Newcomer Reid Mimmack stopped 20 of 21 shots for the win in his first game in a Tornado uniform.
The Tornado caught a break going into overtime when Alex Hajdukovich was whistled for a high sticking penalty with the score tied and just 0.1 seconds remaining in the third period. That gave the Tornado a full 4-on-3 power-play to start overtime, and Texas took full advantage.
From the right wing, Jordan Lovick entered the zone and skated the to the faceoff circle. He then dropped it blindly to a trailing Biggs, who rifled a slapshot over the glove hand of Fairbanks goaltender Alex Fons for the game-winner.
Texas opened the scoring in the first period on a goal from Taylor Herndon, his second of the season. Michael Hoy shot a pass up the left-wing boards to Herndon, who came into the zone on a 2-on-1. He had Jordan Lovick on his right, but Herndon opted to shoot it over the left shoulder of Fons, off the crossbar and in for the first goal of the game.
The third period wasn’t the first time the Ice Dogs took a penalty late in a period. With two seconds left in the first, Fons shot the puck over the glass in his own zone for a delay of game penalty. However, with 1:58 seconds of power-play time with which to work in the second, the Tornado were unable to capitalize and the game remained 1-0.
Texas held on to its one-goal lead throughout the length of the second period after neither team was able to find the back of the net. But once again, Fairbanks took a penalty late in the period, this time with 12 seconds remaining on the clock, and it gave the Tornado an extended power-play opportunity to begin a period.
Texas couldn’t cash in, however, and remained just one goal up. As the third period progressed, Fairbanks began to get more and more shots on goal and tested Mimmack for the first time. With five minutes to play the third and the Ice Dogs starting to shift the momentum, Fairbanks finally broke through. Defenseman Anton Racklin came into the zone on the right wing and backhanded a shot softly on goal. It looked to be one that Mimmack could handle, but it managed to find its way through his five-hole and in for the game-tying goal.
The teams skated to a tie through regulation, but the late penalty to Hajdukovich set the stage for Biggs’ game-winner.
The win pushes the Tornado to 3-1-1, while Fairbanks, who has yet to drop a game in regulation, is 6-0-3. The two teams will do it again on Saturday with opening faceoff scheduled for 7:30.
Three Stars of the Game
3. Taylor Herndon
2. Reid Mimmack
1. Marc Biggs