Tornado win in rout, pick up third straight victory
Last weekend, the Texas Tornado played a pair of overtime games against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. They won both, but head coach Tony Curtale said before the game he wanted to work on getting off to better starts against New Mexico this weekend. With two goals in the first 6:20 of the game, the Tornado coasted to a 6-0 victory over the New Mexico Mustangs for their third straight victory. With the win, the team now also has points in six consecutive games.
Nick Neville opened up the scoring for Texas at the 4:21 mark of the first period when, after receiving a pass from Drew Allen, sent it from the blue line through a screen and past Mustangs goaltender Randy Graham to give Texas a 1-0 lead. The goal was Neville’s first, but his seventh point of the season.
Just 1:59 later, Skyler Spiller doubled the Tornado lead after his shot from the high slot found its way past Graham. The rest of the period remained scoreless, though the Tornado were forced to kill off two penalties in quick succession, after John Kirtland was whistled for a penalty just six seconds after Mico Solorzano was set free from the box.
The second period also provided two goals for the Tornado, but it came with a pair of fights as well. After Jordan Greenberg scored to give Texas a 3-0 lead, Andrew Paras squared off with Dallas Crum at center ice just 19 seconds later. After a few punches the two toppled to the ice, with New Mexico trying to seize some kind of momentum.
It was not to be, however, because at the 8:16 mark, Solorzano took a centering feed from CJ Reuschlein and one-timed it over the shoulder of Graham to give Texas the 4-0 lead.
Under two minutes later, the fisticuffs flew again. This time, it was battle of two of the taller player on the ice. Spiller, listed at 6’3”, dropped the gloves against Lonnie Murphy, who, at 6’9”, has half a foot on Spiller. The two fought in the left-wing circle, and after the scrap Spiller emerged with his arms raised to try and pump up the team and the crowd. It remained 4-0 through the end of the second period, but the Tornado held a massive 34-7 advantage in the shots on goal category. Texas also outshot the Mustangs 16-1 in the second
In the third period, Justin Greenberg joined his brother in the goal column after banging home a shot in the slot. Just over four minutes later, Marc Biggs picked up a blocked shot at the doorstep and fired it in for his team-leading fifth goal of the season. Reid Mimmack moved to 3-0-0 on the season after making 13 stops to pick up his, and the team’s, first shutout of the season.
The Tornado now have 11 points on the season while the Mustangs remain at 4. The two teams return to the ice on Saturday for its second game of the weekend, with opening faceoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Dr Pepper Arena.
Three Stars of the Game
3. Skyler Spiller
2. Justin Greenberg
1. Mico Solorzano