AMARILLO, TX – The Wichita Falls Warriors (21-10-1-4) hit the road for a weekend series with the Amarillo Bulls (21-10-3-4) in the third and fourth straight meetings between the two South Division foes separated by just one point in the standings.
The Warriors looked to continue their three game winning streak with a third straight win over the Bulls on Friday night at the Amarillo Civic Center. The Warriors would fall behind early and hit the first intermission trailing 1-0. The Warriors would tie the game in the second period on the man advantage with a shot just under the crossbar from Thomas Weis (14). The game would remain tied 1-1 into the third period. In the third period, the Bulls would take the lead back as on yet another rebound Amarillo forward Ryan Coughlin (10) would score his second of the game. Then a little later it was the Bulls captain Nick Martino (9) who stretched the lead to 3-1. The Warriors would look to fight their way back and would not be able to find the back of the net past Amarillo goaltender Hunter Garvey who recorded the win for the Bulls. Owen Bartoszkiewicz stopped 25 of 28 shots faced in the loss.
The Warriors would look to bounce back on Saturday night as Ryan Ullan would get the start between the pipes for Wichita Falls. However the Warriors took a too many men penalty early into the game and would find themselves behind 1-0 at the end of the first period, giving up a power play goal to Cooper Fensterstock (4) just 1:11 into the first.
In the second period the Bulls extended their lead to 2-0 as Fensterstock (5) struck once again for his second of the night. Just midway through the second period, the Warriors found themselves in a hole down 2-0 on the road but would head to the man advantage. On the power play Drake Usher (3) was finally able to get a puck past Garvey who got the start once again for Amarillo, and the Warriors were within one goal down 2-1 at the end of 40 minutes.
In the third period, Wichita Falls would use another power play to find the back of the net and tie the game, as another defenseman was able to find the back of the net, this time it was Marcus Frantz (1) with his first career North American Hockey League goal. With the game tied 2-2 the Warriors were right back into the game, but the Bulls top power play unit in the South Division would convert again and give Amarillo a 3-2 lead late into the third. The Warriors would finish 2/7 on the man advantage, where Amarillo would finish 2/8. With two minor penalties called, one on each side with just under seven minutes remaining in the third, the ice opened up with 4-on-4 play. The Warriors would take advantage of the open ice and stretch the play, as William Lawson-Body (15) was able to find Hunter Jones (3) who came in all alone and slid the puck across the goal-line to tie the game 3-3 and send it to overtime.
The Warriors came into the overtime period on Saturday night with a record of 3-1 in the extra period, whereas the Bulls held a record of 0-2 in overtime. That trend would continue as the Bulls went to make a change in their defensive zone just as Amarillo had turned over the puck to William Lawson-Body. Lawson-Body (16) was then able to find Thomas Weis (17) down low who had plenty of time and space opening up a short 2-on-1 with Vince Corcoran. Weis crossed the pass out front for Corcoran (3) who one-timed the shot into the back of the net giving the Warriors a come from behind 4-3 win in overtime.
Ryan Ullan (6-3-0-2) recorded the win for Wichita Falls. He recorded 43 saves on 46 shots faced. Hunter Garvey (2-1-1-2) recorded the loss for Amarillo. He recorded 29 saves on 33 shots faced.
Next up, the Warriors return home for a weekend series with the top team in the South Division in the Shreveport Mudbugs. The series begins on Friday, March 26 with a 7:05 PM puck drop at the Kay Yeager Coliseum.