Record-setting night for Prince in 3-1 victory
The Texas Tornado eliminated the Corpus Christi IceRays from playoff contention by virtue of a 3-1 victory on Friday. Jack Prince set the all-time Tornado regular-season record in both points and assists after he had a helper on all three Tornado goals. Jordan Greenberg, Marc Biggs, and Drew Mayer all scored, while Hunter Leisner earned the win in net. With the IceRays loss and Odessa’s win over Wichita Falls, the Jackalopes have clinched their spot in the Robertson Cup playoffs. Meanwhile, the Tornado’s win moves them two points ahead of Topeka for second place, though the Roadrunners have a game in hand.
Early in the first period, there was a brief delay after a check by Mitch McPherson knocked down Perry D’Arisso. It was a few minutes before D’Arisso made his way off the ice, but once play restarted, Joe Smereck and Mico Solorzano immediately dropped the gloves. Smereck got the first punch in, but Solorzano scored the takedown at 2:13 of the first.
In the late stages of the first period, the Tornado got on the board to open the scoring. After a long battle for the puck along the half-boards, Jordan Greenberg got free and skated to the right-wing circle. The Plano native took a snapshot that snuck through the five-hole of Anthony Stolarz and gave the Tornado a 1-0 lead. Jack Prince picked up the primary assist on the goal, giving him 98 career regular-season assists and breaking the record previously held by Brad Cooper.
The Tornado dominated the first period, outshooting the IceRays by a margin of 17-3. Though it remained 1-0 throughout the entire second period, the Tornado went into the dressing room with a 30-11 shots on goal advantage. In the third, the Tornado earned a power-play and doubled their lead on Biggs’ 18th goal of the season. Prince had the puck behind the net before finding Jordan Greenberg at the side of the net. He made a blind, backhand pass that found Biggs out in front for the goal at 6:01 of the third.
The IceRays looked to claw their way back into the game at 15:05 when A.J. Jarosz took the puck at neutral ice, skated through the Tornado defense and backhanded the puck off of Leisner’s glove and in to cut the Texas lead in half. But in the late stages of regulation, the IceRays were forced to pull their goalie. Prince was denied a goal twice with the empty net, but as time wound down, he chipped the puck off the boards and all the way down into the Corpus Christi zone. Mayer got to the puck ahead of the IceRays defense and put the puck in the empty net to seal the victory for the Tornado. Prince’s third assist of the game gave him 188 career regular-season points, breaking the record previously held by Karl Sellan.
The Tornado return to the ice for the final time this regular season tomorrow as they take on Corpus Christi once again. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. from Dr Pepper Arena.