WICHITA FALLS, TX – The Wichita Falls Warriors (12-8-1-3) returned home on Friday night to host the top team in the South Division of the North American Hockey League the Lone Star Brahmas (20-9-1-0). The Warriors have won five straight games and were looking to make it six straight against the Brahmas.
The Warriors have scored first in their last five games during the five game winning streak, but on Friday night the Warriors would find themselves trailing 1-0 early 3:31 into the first at the Kay Yeager Coliseum. The Warriors did not waste any time to answer back as three minutes later Carter Korpi (9) would ring a shot off two posts and into the back of the net to tie the game 1-1. The Brahmas struck back to take the lead again off of a Warriors turnover 11:23 into the first period. The Warriors would then go on the power play as Vince Corcoran (15) would cut through two Brahmas defenseman and dished it over to Cade Lemmer (2) who scored his second goal as a Warriors in just three games and the game was back tied, this time at 2-2. The Warriors penalty kill would hold the Brahmas power play off the score sheet through two attempts in the first period. The two South Division foes would head to the intermission tied at two.
The second period would begin with both goaltenders Owen Bartoszkiewicz for Wichita Falls and Guy Blessing for Lone Star trading big saves back and forth to keep the game tied at two through the first half of the period. The Warriors would have a power play in the first half of the period but were unable to take the lead. Then the Warriors would take a couple penalties of their own. The penalty kill stayed strong, killing off the first power play with little attempts at net from the Brahmas. The second penalty kill of the period would turn into a 3-on-2 for Wichita Falls, where Marcus Frantz (1) would find the captain Jackson Wozniak (4) at the top of the left wing circle and Wozniak would beat Blessing over his right shoulder for a short-handed goal that gave the Warriors their first lead of the night at 3-2. The Brahmas would look to respond from behind the back of the net a chance that went off of the back of Bartoszkiewicz but he was able to spin around and stop it from crossing the goal-line and keeping the Warriors in front. With that save, the Warriors would head to the third period up one at 3-2.
The Warriors are (9-0-0-3) when leading after two period and were looking to add to that and win their sixth straight game. However, the Brahmas would make things interesting by tying the game quickly, just 3:32 into the final frame of regulation. The game would remain tied until the midway point of the period with both sides trading chances back and forth. The Warriors would head back to the power play 9:40 into the third on a high-sticking minor on Lone Star’s Luke Johnson. The Warriors would go to work on the man advantage which had already cashed in back in the first period. Wichita Falls put pucks on net and that would help lead to the go ahead goal as forward Drew Vieten (8) would put back the rebound chance on the backhand to give the Warriors a 4-3 lead with under ten minutes remaining. The Warriors could almost taste their sixth straight win until a slashing penalty with 3:22 remaining made things interesting as they would head back to the penalty kill up one goal with under 3:30 to go. The Brahmas were able to get some close chances in front of the crease but were unable to beat Bartoszkiewicz in net, as the Warriors killed off the penalty. After the power play expired, Lone Star pulled Blessing to get the extra attacker in a last chance effort to try to tie the game with a minute left. However, the Warriors would keep the door shut in route to their sixth straight win, defeating the Brahmas by a final score of 4-3. The Warriors outshot the Brahmas 31-27 in the win. The Warriors have now evened up the season series with Lone Star (3-3-0-0).
Owen Bartoszkiewicz (11-5-1-2) recorded the win for Wichita Falls. He recorded 24 saves on 27 shots faced. Guy Blessing (2-1-0-0) recorded the loss for Lone Star. He recorded 27 saves on 31 shots faced.