4-0 Tornado win a record-breaker for Curtale
Texas dominated the Mustangs in their first two meetings this season, and Friday was no different. A first-period goal by Taylor Herndon was all the Texas Tornado turned out to need in Friday’s game with the New Mexico Mustangs. Texas scored three more times to win the game 4-0, though and put head coach Tony Curtale’s name in the United States junior hockey record books. With his 530th career victory, Curtale broke the record held by Mike Hastings for most wins by a coach in US junior hockey history.
Fittingly, the game itself resulted in a workmanlike victory for the Tornado, who allowed just 12 shots on goal in the 4-0 victory. Joakim Jutras picked up his first shutout of the season, and improved his record as a starting goaltender to 5-1-1 on the season. After winning games against the Mustangs in early this month by scores of 6-0 and 5-1, the Tornado continued to play well against New Mexico.
Herndon’s goal came at the 11:52 mark of the first period as the Tornado forwards set up down low. With both Jordan Lovick and Jordan Greenberg behind the goal line, Greenberg fed Herndon out in front, who snapped the shot past Mustangs goalie Randy Graham for the first goal of the game.
In the second period,Justin Greenberg was able to extend the Tornado lead to two goals. After receiving a pass at center from Mitchell McPherson, Greenberg raced into the zone and came into the right-wing circle. The 17 year old then wristed one that whistled past Graham’s blocker and into the net for the second Tornado goal of the game.
Lovick collected the secondary assists on the first two Tornado goals, but got his name in the goal column later in the second period. Jordan Greenberg’s centering pass missed Lovick’s stick, but it found Taylor Herndon. Herndon managed to connect with Lovick at the far post, who knocked it past a diving Graham for the goal.
With the score 3-0 in the third period, the Tornado found themselves shorthanded, but the Greenberg brothers combined for one of the prettier goals Texas has scored all season long. The younger brother Justin took away a pass in the neutral zone and skated up ice with his older brother to his left on a 2-on-0 break. The two played pitch-and-catch in the New Mexico zone as they made their way towards Graham, who had no answer for the elder brother Jordan’s one-timer on the doorstep.
The win pushes to Texas to 9-3-3 on the season, and the team’s 21 points leaves them one behind the Amarillo Bulls for first place in the South Division. The Tornado and Mustangs will square off once again tomorrow night at Dr Pepper Arena, with opening faceoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Three Stars of the Game
3. Jordan Greenberg
2. Jordan Lovick
1. Justin Greenberg