Allen's hat trick propels Tornado to 5-2 win
Thanks in part to a Drew Allen hat trick, The Texas Tornado picked up its fourth straight victory with a 5-2 win over the New Mexico Mustangs on Saturday. Jackson Leef and Taylor Herndon were the other Tornado goal-scorers, while Hunter Leisner made 20 saves for his 7th win with the Tornado this season. With the victory, Texas stays just one point back of Topeka for second place in the South division.
The Tornado struck first on what was Allen’s 8th goal of the season. The play started when, after the Tornado dumped the puck in and went for a line change, Allen was the first player in on the forecheck. He won the puck behind the net and found Drew Mayer, whose initial chance was stopped by Jake Stafford. He left a rebound, though, and Allen was there to knock it home and give the Tornado a 1-0 lead. After the game, Allen admitted that the goal may not have been his, but he was given credit for the opening goal nonetheless.
Allen picked up his second goal of the game early in the second period. As they did all night, the line of Allen, Mayer, and Mitch Mcpherson worked hard along the boards to win the puck, which came to Mayer along the half-boards. He spotted Allen waiting in the slot, who fired a one-timer past Stafford to make it a 2-0 game.
Adam Chapie drew the Mustangs to within one after he received a pass in the left-wing circle and, with his back to the goal, spun and sent a wrist shot into the top corner past Leisner’s glove. But under two minutes later, Leef scored and the Tornado regained their two-goal lead. Leef had the puck and took the line with Jordan Lovick before sending a saucer pass to Lovick. Lovick’s shot was stopped, but Leef poked the rebound over the goal line and gave the Tornado a 3-1 lead.
Texas took their two-goal lead into the third, but Avik Bordak cut the Tornado lead to one once more at 11:14 of the third period. Defenseman Kirill Vorobyev skated the puck coast-to-coast before pulling up in the corner and finding Bordak. Bordak’s shot beat Leisner high, and was the 17 year old’s first career NAHL goal.
Just 10 seconds later, Allen not only extended his lead, but picked up a hat trick, as well. Immediately following the faceoff, Texas blasted the puck on goal from outside the zone. Stafford was unable to control the rebound and Allen was right there to stuff it home for his hat trick goal and made it a 4-2 game.
Just over four minutes later, the Tornado tacked on another goal on Herndon’s 19th goal of the season. Leef was in control of the puck along the left-wing boards and then found Herndon waiting at the top of the circle. Herndon fired a shot past Stafford, whose goal was his fourth in his last three games and gave the Tornado a 5-2 lead.
Texas will hit the road next weekend for the final time this regular season, with a pair of games upcoming against Corpus Christi next Friday and Saturday.