The Texas Tornado (13-3-4, 30pts, #2 South) ventured out to Fresno, California this past weekend to take on the Monsters. While the Tornado sport a solid overall record, prior to the weekend, Texas was a very average road team, with a road record of 3-2-2 going into the 2-game set.
With a come-from-behind 3-2 victory in the shootout on Friday and a solid 4-2 win on Saturday, Texas took both games in one of their longest (distance-wise) trips of the season, and improved their road record to a more respectable 5-2-2.
More on the Tornado after the jump...
After many lackluster performances on the road, this game looked to be heading in a similar direction. A very physical first period with few scoring chances almost ended 0-0, until the Monsters popped through with under 45 seconds remaining in the frame. An early goal in the second put Texas in a 2-0 hole and it appeared as though the road woes would continue for another night. However, the Tornado would battle back, as San Jose native Mico Solorzano banged home a rebound with 7 seconds remaining in the second to cut the Monsters lead to 2-1. Texas continued to seize the momentum in the third as Ondrej Kopta tied the game with a little over 5 minutes left in the 3rd. The teams traded chances throughout the remainder of the game and into overtime, where nothing was settled. The lone goal for either team came in the shootout, compliments of Jordan Lovick, and capped the Texas rally.
After having to come from behind on Friday night, Texas looked determined to alter their path to victory on Saturday. Jordan Lovick continued his strong weekend play and put the Tornado up 1-0 after the first. Texas came out even stronger in the second, as Jordan Greenberg cashed-in on a rebound to put the Tornado up 2-0 just 14 seconds into the frame. It was now time for the Monsters to respond, and they took advantage of a lull in Texas' play to counter with two quick goals and tie the score 2-2. Texas would respond physically to the tie as Mico Solorzano and Jordan Greenberg both dropped the gloves within 2 minutes of the second Fresno goal and looked to help curb some of the momentum that the Monsters had gained. The score would remained tied at 2 heading to the third. A hard-fought period would lean the Tornado way as Jordan Lovick found the twine for the second time mid-way through the third. Michael Hoy would add an empty netter to seal the victory, a weekend sweep, and a 3-game winning streak for the Texas.
Texas will return home this weekend for a 2-game set (Friday/Saturday) against the Amarillo Bulls, who currently sit at 15-2-2, and first-place in the South Division, just 2 points ahead of Texas.These teams have not yet met this season, but Amarillo knocked Texas out of the playoffs last season.
--Friday is the Canned Food Drive benefiting Frisco Family Services. Simply bring any non-perishable food item and receive a free ticket to the game! Puck drops at 7:30. The Tornado will also be honoring Head Coach/GM Tony Curtale for breaking the all-time U.S. Junior Hockey wins record with a pre-game ceremony.
--Saturday is Military and Public Servant Appreciation Night! All current, former, reserve, retired Military and Public Servants can receive complimentary tickets with their families receiving special discounted $5 tickets. Puck drop is at 7:30.
After the weekend set, Texas will square off against the Odessa Jackalopes on Wednesday, November 23rd. Odessa currently sits at 7-10-2, good for 5th in the South Division. These two teams have also not yet met this season.
--This game is Youth Jersey Night! Any kids 14 & under in their youth sports jerseys will get in free! There will also be $1 hot dogs available from 6:30-7:30. Puck drops at 7:30pm.
I can be reached directly at Nick@TornadoHockey.com