Prince explodes for four goals in Tornado blowout win
A night after seven goals was not enough for a victory, the Texas Tornado scored nine times—four of them from Jack Prince—en route to a 9-2 win over the New Mexico Mustangs on Saturday. Prince’s effort marks the first time a Tornado player has scored four goals since Sean Heidrick netted four goals against New Mexico in October of last season. Joakim Jutras made 21 saves in the victory after being pulled in the second period of Friday’s game.
Prince opened the game’s scoring at the 9:23 mark of the first period with the Tornado on the penalty kill. After a hooking call went against Michael Miller put the Tornado a man down, Jutras rimmed the puck around the boards to center, where he connected with Jordan Greenberg. Greenberg found Prince with an indirect pass, and his shot from the circle beat Mustangs goalie Randy Graham.
Just over four minutes later, the Tornado found themselves on the power-play, and Prince struck again. This time, he redirected a shot from the point by Tyler Rostenkowski, and the puck slipped past Graham to make it a 2-0 Tornado lead. Zach O’Mara scored near the end of the first period to cut the Tornado to 2-1, but that was as close as New Mexico would get.
At 2:13 of the second, a scramble in front led to Ondrej Kopta’s first career NAHL goal. Graham stopped the initial shot by Mico Solorzano, but Kopta swooped in to pounce on the rebound and poke it past Graham to make it 3-1. Later in the period, Prince completed his hat trick, and once again it was Jordan Greenberg who picked up the primary assist. On this occasion, Greenberg controlled the puck behind the New Mexico net, then passed it out in front for Prince, who fired it home for his third goal of the game.
The Tornado were not done in the second period, though. At the 10:22 mark, Jordan Lovick made it a 5-1 game. Marc Biggs started the play by forcing a turnover on the forecheck behind the Mustangs net. Biggs took the puck and centered a pass to Lovick, who beat Graham and ended the night for the New Mexico goaltender. Jake Stafford came on to replace him, and though he did not allow a goal in the second, the Tornado got four goals past him in the final period.
The first goal of the period came at the 4:35 mark courtesy of Biggs, who took the puck in the right-wing circle and beat Stafford to make it 6-1. Just 20 seconds later, Prince picked up his fourth goal of the game on a one-timer from the left-wing circle.
After Charles Baldwin scored to make it a 7-2 game, the Mustangs went on the power-play. New Mexico opted to pull Stafford in favor of the extra attacker with eight minutes to go in the third, but the empty net almost gave Prince a fifth goal. The Tornado captain put a shot of the post, but later in the penalty kill, Justin Greenberg was able to find the back of the empty net to make it 8-2.
Patrick Anderson picked up another goal for New Mexico at 15:37 of the third, but 57 seconds later, Nick Neville’s shot from the point beat Stafford through a screen for the final Tornado goal.
Texas returns to the ice on Friday, November 11th against the Fresno Monsters from Selland Arena with opening faceoff scheduled for 9:30 p.m. central time.