Nick Crimmins has your full update on the undefeated Tornado, as well as a look ahead to this week's schedule.
The Texas Tornado (8-0-0, 16 pts, #2 South) were well-traveled last week, spending Thursday and Friday in Corpus Christi before returning home to play Wichita Falls on Sunday. They continued their hot streak, thanks in part to a gigantic weekend from Brandon Hawkins, winning all three games and moving to 8-0-0 on the season. The team is back on the ice at home in Frisco against Topeka (8-1-1, 17pts, #1 South) this week, so make sure you read on to be updated on all the details...
Thursday, October 4th – Hawkins Nets Natural Trick, Puts Ice Ray Through Glass
In the team’s first true road game of the season, the Texas Tornado scored four second-period goals on their way to a 4-2 victory over the Corpus Christi IceRays Thursday night. JT Paine scored his first career NAHL goal, followed by three in a row from Brandon Hawkins for a natural hat trick. This was following a hit by Hawkins with 2:50 remaining in the first period that shattered the glass at American Bank Center, causing a premature first intermission. His hat trick was the first of the season for Tornado; the feat was last achieved by Jordan Lovick on April 12th against Topeka. Leading 4-0 in the third period, Texas allowed two goals late by Phil Pietroniro and Tommaso Bucci, but hung on for the victory. Hunter Leisner made 37 of 39 saves in the victory.
Friday, October 5th – Hawkins stays hot, Tornado win seven straight
Hawkins picked up right where he left off the next night, factoring on all three Tornado goals in a 3-2 victory over Corpus Christi. After picking up a secondary assist on CJ Reuschlein’s first-period goal, he scored in both the first and the third to give the Tornado the win. His goal in the first period broke a 1-1 tie, while his marker in the third was the game-winner, breaking a 2-2 deadlock. Leisner was back in net for the second straight night and was tested with another 39 shots, making an identical 37 saves. Roman Uchyn and Perry D’Arrisso scored goals for the IceRays, who dropped their sixth straight game with the loss.
Sunday, October 7th – Tornado prevail in shootout for eighth straight win
Sunday’s home contest was a little dicier than the road games in Corpus Christi, but the Tornado took down Wichita Falls in a shootout on Sunday, 3-2. The Tornado scored two goals in the second period, sandwiched between Wildcats goals in the first and third. After Charlie Hemstrom made it a 1-0 game, Hawkins and Justin Greenberg lit the lamp to give the Tornado a lead heading into the third period. Sami Salminen tied it up and the game went to overtime. Hawkins, Greenberg, and Scott Conway all scored in the shootout for the Tornado, and when George Pagonis missed the net in the fifth round, Texas had its eighth victory in a row to start the season. The team has now won ten straight games dating back to the last season’s Robertson Cup semifinal game against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs.
Tornado Quick Hits:
--Notice Brandon Hawkins' name a lot? So did the league. South Division Player of the Week for Hawkins, story here.
--The Tornado held the first coach's show of 2012-13 on Tuesday at Boston's in McKinney. Details on future shows, here.
--Seven current Tornado players have shaved their heads in support of a teammate's sister. That amazing story, can be found here.
--Texas returns to Dr Pepper Arena for a pair of games this week against the Topeka Roadrunners. The teams play Thursday and Saturday in Frisco, with both contests scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night will be Rally Towel Night, so make sure you get to the building early and get your special edition 2012-2013 Tornado Rally Towel! After two games against Wichita Falls on the road on October 19th and 20th, Texas rounds out the home schedule in October with another Sunday matinee on October 21st at 5:00 p.m, also against the Wildcats.
I can be reached directly via email at Nick@TornadoHockey.com