WICHITA FALLS, TX – The Wichita Falls Warriors (14-8-1-3) headed into Saturday night’s contest on a seven game winning streak and returned home to the Kay Yeager Coliseum to host the Amarillo Bulls (16-7-2-3) in the fourth meeting between the two this season.
The Warriors have been accustom to fast starts throughout the winning streak and Saturday night was no different. Just 21 seconds into the first period, Thomas Weis (11) scored from a tough angle from behind the net to score his team leading 11th goal of the season and put the Warriors out in front early into the contest. Then just a few minutes later, the Warriors would continue the pressure and extend the lead. Off of a turnover, Riley Brueck (3) lead the odd man rush on a 2-on-1 and made a nice move to then find Nick Lanigan (7) who put the Warriors up 2-0 in the first. However, the two goal lead would not last long as the Bulls would send the top power play unit in the South Division onto the ice and cut the Warriors lead down to one. Then, before the Warriors could get to the intermission with the lead, the Bulls found the back of the net once more and the game would head to the second period tied 2-2.
The second period would begin with both goaltenders Ryan Ullan for Wichita Falls and Andrew Takacs trading big save for big save on either end of the ice. The Warriors would be able to take the lead back at 3-2 when Jackson Salt (4) would laser a shot past Takacs from the top of the left-wing circle. The lead did not last two long for Wichita Falls, as the Bulls responded quickly with two unanswered goals to take a 4-3 lead to the second intermission. The Warriors were 0-7-0-0 when trailing after the second period and the Bulls record was 10-0-0-0 when leading after two.
The Warriors would look to change those past records in the third period. Wichita Falls quickly began to put the pressure on the Bulls and created some early score chances. It was only a matter of time until the Warriors were able to find the back of the net. Adisen Brueck (8) would be the one to tie the game for the Warriors 6:30 into the third with a snipe over the top of Takacs. After that, neither side would be able to find another goal in regulation and the game would head to overtime for the third time out of four meetings between the two South Division foes. It was an uneventful overtime period as neither side could generate a lot of offense thanks to great defensive performances and the game would head to a shootout.
The Warriors were 0-3 in shootouts including 0-1 against Amarillo heading into the night. In the second round Riley Brueck with a nifty move would start the scoring. But, Jere Vaisanen would respond with a goal of his own in the third round to tie it and keep Amarillo alive. The two side would trade saves and missed shots back and forth into the eighth round were Dominick Rivelli would go backhand to forehand around Takacs to net the game winner for Wichita Falls and extend the winning streak to eight games.
Ryan Ullan (3-3-0-1) recorded the win for Wichita Falls in back to back starts. He recorded 27 saves on 31 shots faced. Andrew Takacs (7-1-0-1) recorded the loss for Amarillo. He recorded 33 saves on 37 shots faced.
Next up, the Warriors finish the weekend series against the Bulls at home with a Sunday afternoon puck drop at 3:05 PM at the Kay Yeager Coliseum. With a win, the Warriors would extend the winning streak to nine games.