Tornado win 5-1, sweep weekend series with New Mexico
Only a late goal prevented the Tornado from securing their second shutout in as many games against the New Mexico Mustangs. After a comprehensive 6-0 victory over New Mexico Friday night, the Texas Tornado continued their strong play en route to a 5-1 win on Saturday. With the victory, the Tornado have now won four straight games and have earned points in each of their last seven. Joakim Jutras was in net for Texas, and stopped 18 of 19 shots he faced in his first action since a September 17th overtime loss to Aberdeen.
The Tornado jumped out to an early lead on the very first shift of the game, when Mico Solorzano found the puck on his stick in the high slot, and sent it top shelf over the shoulder of Mustangs goalie Lukas Hernandez just 21 seconds into the contest. Solorzano was scoreless on the season coming into the weekend series against New Mexico, but picked up goals in each game for his first two markers of 2011-2012.
A Tornado power-play led to their second goal of the game later in the first period. Jordan Lovick sent it out to the point for Lucas Whelan. Whelan skated to the middle of the blue line and fired a shot that redirected off of a couple of sticks and bodies in the slot, then bounced up in the air and in for the goal. The goal was Whelan’s second of the season and gave the Tornado a 2-0 lead.
Texas struck early in the second as well, with Lovick finding the back of the net 59 seconds into the period. Taylor Herndon skated into the right-wing circle and fired but his shot was blocked. He corralled the rebound and attempted another shot, this one was stopped by Hernandez. But Lovick was on the doorstep and scored on the third effort to give the Tornado a 3-0 lead.
Later in the period, Justin Greenberg scored on a shot from the right-wing circle to extend the Tornado lead further. Jack Prince skated in behind the net and sent it out front to Greenberg for the goal at the 5:41 mark of the second.
Then, in the third, Jordan Greenberg got on the board on the power-play. His goal with 6:17 left in the third period marked the second game in a row that both of the Greenberg brothers put goals on the board for the Tornado. Justin now has 4 goals on the season while Jordan has 3 goals to go along with his 6 assists.
With the score 5-0 and Texas looking to shut out New Mexico for the second time in as many nights, Jordan Boucher-Gould took a shot from the slot that snuck past Jutras for the first and only Mustang goal of the weekend.
The game didn’t end without incident, however, as after Max Veatch was to be whistled for an elbowing call, Marc Biggs took exception to the hit and dropped the gloves with Veatch with 1:34 left in the game.
The Tornado outshot the Mustangs 39-18 on Saturday and 91-31 overall this weekend. Texas now has 13 points and will play three games next weekend. After a road contest against Wichita Falls in Friday, the team will return for two games against the Topeka Roadrunners.
Three Stars of the Game
3. Mico Solorzano
2. Nick Neville
1. Jack Prince