WICHITA FALLS, TX – The Wichita Falls Warriors (24-15-1-6) were back home for the first time in about a month to host the Lone Star Brahmas (32-14-1-0) for two straight at the Kay Yeager Coliseum on Military Appreciation Weekend.
It was a strong start the the first period on Friday night for the Warriors. The Warriors outshot the Brahmas 12-5 in the first period and even struck first on the scoreboard. Just before the midway point of the first period the Warriors went on the man advantage and Joseph Harguindeguy (14) found himself back door for the loose rebound to put the Warriors up 1-0 at the 9:10 mark of the first. The Warriors would have the 1-0 lead going into the second period.
In the second, the Brahmas would head to a man advantage of their own and tie the game 1-1 7:21 into the period. After the goal the Brahmas continued to put the pressure on the Warriors and would force a turnover in the neutral zone that would lead to a breakaway. Zach Purcell (15) would take the puck all the way in and score to give Lone Star its first lead of the game at 2-1 just 3:54 after they had tied the contest.
The Warriors would head to the third period down one and would look to tie the game in the late stages after a scoreless first ten minutes of the final frame. The Warriors would have two power plays within the final ten minutes of the period but would be unable to find a way to tie the game and the opportunity would go by the wayside. The Warriors would have one more chance at it with the net empty and the extra attacker on. They were able to control possession in the offensive zone but could generate a high quality scoring chance and would fall by a final of 2-1. Graham Burke recorded the win for Lone Star. He recorded 28 saves on 29 shots faced. Ryan Ullan recorded the loss for Wichita Falls. He recorded 19 saves on 21 shots faced.
The Warriors looked to bounce back in a big way against the Brahmas on Saturday night. The first period was a scoreless affair with both teams trying to break the scoring open, trading chances on either end. The Warriors doubled the Brahmas in shots on goal in the first totaling 10-5 in the first 20 minutes of play.
The scoring would pick up in the second period. Nick Lanigan (9) would strike first for the Warriors 12:00 into the period to give the Warriors the 1-0 lead. Then, just 1:46 later the Brahmas would score a power play goal and tie the game at 1-1. The Warriors would battle back and retake the lead 2-1 when Cole Teleki (12) found a wide open Hunter Jones (7) waiting at the offensive blue-line, and Jones gave Wichita Falls the one goal advantage. The Warriors would head to the third period up by one over the Brahmas.
The Brahmas began the third period on the power play and would cash in to tie the game 2-2 just 0:40 seconds into the final frame of regulation. Then the Warriors would take control of the game with offensive zone face-off wins, scoring back to back goals from defenseman off of in-zone face-off draws. First, it was Cole Teleki (3) who put the Warriors back in front at 3-2. Then, Drake Usher (7) would follow Teleki with one of his own from the blue-line and give the Warriors their first two goal lead of the series at 4-2 with 17:07 remaining in the third. The Brahmas would change things up in net, sending in Graham Burke to replace Guy Blessing who had allowed 4 goals on 19 shots faced. The Warriors would then head to the power play with a chance to extend the lead even more, but it would be the Brahmas creating a turnover down low and scoring a shorthanded goal to cut the Wichita Falls lead back to one. The Brahmas would give it there all in a late push to try to tie the game, but the Warriors kept the door shut and hung on defeating Lone Star 4-3.
Owen Bartoszkiewicz (19-11-1-3) recorded the win for Wichita Falls. He recorded 21 saves on 24 shots faced. Guy Blessing (8-5-0-0) recorded the loss for Lone Star. He recorded 15 saves on 19 shots faced.
Next up, the Warriors hit the road and head to the NYTEX Sports Centre on Tuesday to face the Brahmas for the third straight time, looking to take two of the three games.