WICHITA FALLS, TX – The Wichita Falls Warriors (17-8-1-3) looked to sweep the Odessa Jackalopes (8-20-2-2) on Saturday night for the weekend series and set the North American Hockey League inaugural season win streak record with 11 wins in a row.
It was yet another fast start for the Warriors and in particular Thomas Weis (12) as he went right down the ice and scored right in front just 21 seconds into the opening period to put Wichita Falls up 1-0. The lead didn’t last too long for Wichita Falls as the Odessa Jackalopes went on back to back power plays where Fletcher Anderson (8,9) scored twice for the Jackalopes to give them a 2-1 lead 8:02 into the first. Then, it would be the Warriors responding back quickly as just 19 seconds later Cade Lemmer (5) found the back of the net off a nice assist from Carter Korpi (10) to tie the game at 2-2. The Warriors would take the lead back 13:03 into the period when Nick Lanigan (8) drove the puck to the net and beat Jackalopes goaltender Connor Hasley to take a 3-2 lead to the second period. The Warriors would have five power play opportunities in the first period but would fail to capitalize.
In the second period the Warriors would start to control the pace of play like they had done on Friday night in their 5-1 win over Odessa. The Warriors extended the lead to 4-2 thanks to a goal from Drew Vieten (10) from the right-wing circle. Then, Wichita Falls would score on their sixth power play opportunity as Joseph Harguindeguy (11) added to the lead making it 5-2. The Warriors would then take a penalty and go back on the penalty kill which had given up two goals on two attempts to begin the game. The Jackalopes would take advantage of the extra man once more as the power play goal cut the Warriors lead to 5-3 heading to the third period.
In the third period the two teams would fail to hold possession of the puck as there were several giveaways and each team headed back and forth down the sheet of ice. The Jackalopes would make things interesting with a goal 7:06 into the third to cut the Warriors lead down to one goal with 12 minutes to go. The Warriors would be able to hold the door shut late as they were able to kill off the Jackalopes power play this time thanks to a reaching back glove save by goaltender Owen Bartoszkiewicz who was looking for his ninth straight win. Odessa would pull Hasley late but it would not be able to get enough pressure towards the front of the net and the Warriors would secure the win 5-4, winning their 11th straight. The win set the NAHL win streak record by a team in its inaugural season, breaking the Minnesota Wilderness’ record of 10 straight back in the 2013-14 season.
Owen Bartoszkiewicz (14-5-1-2) recorded the win for Wichita Falls. He recorded 17 saves on 21 shots faced. Connor Hasley (6-12-2-1) recorded the loss for Odessa. He recorded 34 saves on 39 shots faced.
Next up, the Warriors hit the road and look to continue the win streak with three straight games at Shreveport beginning on Friday, March 5 at 7:11 PM.