Tornado cash in on power-play in 5-1 victory
On a night where the Texas Tornado were facing both the top power-play and penalty-killing units in the league, they dealt with both exceptionally well en route to a 5-1 victory over the Amarillo Bulls. Texas scored three times on the power-play, while killing off all six of their own penalties. Jackson Leef picked up a pair of goals, while Jack Prince, Marc Biggs, and John Kirtland chipped in with one apiece. Hunter Leisner stopped 36 of 37 shots in the victory.
Texas opened up the scoring very early on with a goal that came just 1:17 into the first period. Mychal Monteith took a blast from the point and Prince was waiting to redirect it past Gregg Greuhl for the first and only goal of the opening period.
The Tornado dominated the early stages of the first, forcing Amarillo into four or five icings in the opening five minutes of play. The Bulls got stronger as the period went on, but Leisner stopped all 13 shots he faced, including a couple of flurries late, to keep it a 1-0 Tornado lead into the first intermission.
On the strength of three consecutive power-play goals, Texas broke the game open in the second period. The first came at just 1:48 of the second period, after Taylor Herndon’s shot from the right-wing circle was deflected by Leef and in to extend the Tornado lead to two.
After Texas killed off a penalty of its own, they found themselves back on the power-play under two minutes later. Once again, the Tornado were able to cash in. After Prince’s shot was blocked, the puck found its way to Biggs, who was waiting near the right-wing circle. Biggs fired a wrist shot that beat Greuhl top-shelf and made it a 3-0 game.
Just 20 seconds following the goal by Biggs, Amarillo took yet another penalty. Only 25 seconds into the Tornado man-advantage, Texas scored once again and extended its lead to four. Prince earned his second assist of the night after giving the puck back to Kirtland top of the left-wing circle. Kirtland sent a shot towards goal that went through a screen and beat Greuhl. Kirtland’s goal marked the end of the night for Greuhl, who was replaced by Mike Taffe.
Later in the second period, Leef got on the board for a second time. After Lucas Whelan intercepted a pass in the Bulls zone, he found Leef with a pass that allowed him to walk right in on goal, before beating Taffe with a backhand that made it a 5-0 game. Things turned physical towards the end of the second period, with Omar Mullan and Skyler Spiller each receiving double-minors for roughing. It remained 5-0 through most of the third period, as well, and though Mike Erickson notched a late goal for Amarillo, it was not nearly enough as the Tornado coasted to the victory.
The Tornado will take on Amarillo for the final time this regular season on Saturday, with a 7:05 start from the Amarillo Civic Center.