5-2 Texas victory gives Tornado three straight wins
The Texas Tornado continued to roll against New Mexico on Saturday night, beating the Mustangs by a score of 5-2 for the Tornado’s fourth straight victory against them this season. Reid Mimmack stopped 12 of 14 shots for the victory, while former Tornado goalie Jake Stafford was in net for the Mustangs. The Frisco native was picked up by Mustangs earlier in the week and was the backup on Friday, but got the start on Saturday. He was peppered with 46 shots and played well, but Texas was too powerful on the night.
The two teams played a scoreless first period, but action picked up in the first 18 seconds of the second period. Justin Greenberg dumped the puck into the Mustangs zone where it bounced off the boards and out in front. Jack Prince was set up behind the net, but he reached out with his stick to reel the puck in, then put it past Stafford for the opening goal of the game. Under two minutes later, Taylor Herndon stuffed home a rebound on a shot from Mico Solorzano to give the Tornado a two-goal lead just 2:16 into the second period.
Later in the second, the Mustangs answered back and cut the Tornado lead to 1. With Jimmy Peplinski waiting in the left-wing circle, Adam Chapie found him with a cross-ice pass and lifted it past Mimmack for the first Mustangs goal.
But the Tornado had an answer of their own, and it came off the stick of Herndon once again. This time, Herndon unleashed a rocket of a one-time to beat Stafford from the right-wing circle. The pass came from Jordan Lovick, and once Herndon got the shot off, Stafford had no chance.
New Mexico would not go quietly, however, and once again cut the Tornado lead in half late in the second period. After Eric Sade took a shot from the blue line that was stopped by Mimmack, the rebound came to Evan Johnston. Johnston continued to skate with the puck in the Tornado zone, until he took a wrist shot that beat Mimmack to make it a 3-2 game.
After five total goals in the second period, the Mustangs were done scoring for the night, but the Tornado padded their lead twice in the third. Jordan Greenberg scored his second goal of the weekend after a blocked shot came to his stick in the slot. He corralled it and scored at the 6:02 mark of the third period. Just 1:40 later, Lovick picked up his third assist of the game after passing a puck back to Tyler Rostenkowski, who rifled a one-timer past Stafford to give Texas the 5-2 lead.
The win gives the Tornado three straight victories since dropping two in a row to Corpus Christi. Texas and New Mexico will be back in action next weekend at Santa Ana Star Center in New Mexico. Opening faceoff for Friday’s game is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.
Three Stars of the Game
3. Jake Stafford
2. John Kirtland
1. Taylor Herndon