Warriors Top Amarillo 5-4 in OT on New Year’s Eve

AMARILLO, TX – The Wichita Falls Warriors (5-4-1-2) hit the road on New Year’s Eve to take on the Amarillo Bulls (4-5-2-1) in the first meeting between the two South Division foes this season.

The Bulls would strike first on the power play and take an early 1-0 lead 2:18 into the opening period off the blast from Greg Japchen (2).  The Warriors would respond as Ryan Robinson (2) would find the back of the net from the left-wing circle and tie the game 1-1 13:40 into the first.  Then the Warriors would add another 16:51 into the period courtesy of Adisen Brueck (5) and take a 2-1 lead to the first intermission.

In the second period things started to get physical between the two teams.  Brennan Couet for Wichita Falls and Paul Schmid for Amarillo would drop the gloves and trade blows just two minutes into the second.  Penalties started piling up on both sides as well, as there were 10 penalties between the both teams in the period.  The Warriors would take advantage first on the man advantage and extend their lead to 3-1 off the power play goal from Jackson Salt (3) 16:13 into the period.  Then, it was the Bulls turn on the man advantage as Japchen (3) would score his second power play goal in the contest and cut the Warriors lead to 3-2 after two periods of play.

The first 10 minutes of the final frame of regulation would go back and forth with both sides unable to get a puck past the opposing goaltender.  Midway through the third the Bulls would strike twice at the 10:39 and 11:54 marks to take a 4-3 lead, their first lead of the game since they led 1-0 early in the first period.  However, the Warriors would answer back this time coming off the stick of Nick Lanigan (5) to tie the game 4-4.  The Warriors would take a penalty 18:07 into the period and would need to finish the end of regulation short-handed.  The Warriors penalty kill unit, which has been strong all season long, came up big and would get the game to overtime.

In overtime the Bulls would take a penalty just 1:36 into the period and put the Warriors power play unit on the ice for a 4-on-3 advantage.  The Warriors power play had been 1 for 8 through the first three periods of regulation.  In the first few seconds of the power play Robinson would ring one off the post, the third time he had rung one off the iron in the contest.  However, at the tail end of the man advantage 2:58 into the overtime period, Robinson (3) would bury a one time for his second of the night and send the Warriors home with a 5-4 overtime win on New Year’s Eve.  The Warriors outshot the Bulls 34-33 and that extra shot for Wichita Falls turned out to be the difference in this one as the Warriors picked up the two points.

Owen Bartoszkiewicz (4-2-1-1) recorded the win for Wichita Falls, he recorded 29 saves on 33 shots in the win.  Cal Sandquist (4-2-2-1) recorded the loss for Amarillo, he recorded 29 saves on 34 shots in the loss.

Next up, the Warriors hit the road again and head to North Richland Hills, Texas for a meeting on New Year’s Day with the division leading Lone Star Brahmas.  It is the second of three straight games in three straight days for the Warriors.  Puck drop is set for 7:30 pm at the NYTEX Sports Centre.