Standings in South Division: 3rd
Last Ten Games: 8-1-0-1
It was ultimately a successful weekend for the Warriors in their travels to Corpus Christi. They were able to gain three out of a possible four points and created some point separation to those behind them in the division, although it isn’t much.
After this past weekend, it is looking as if it is building into a three-team race for the final two playoff positions. Shreveport has officially taken over the fourth spot with a meteoric rise through the division. Odessa, now tied in points with Shreveport, only has 12 more games remaining to try and leapfrog themselves into the playoffs.
For the Warriors they play another series against Odessa March 18th and 19th on the road. They will also face Shreveport on March 23rd for a one-game series. These games will have significant implications in how the points will shake out. Shreveport has one game in hand over the Warriors, while the Warriors have three games in hand on Odessa.
It is an understatement to say the Warriors started the game on their back foot. By the 9:39 mark of the first period, the IceRays scored three goals courtesy of Colby Seitz, Michael Casey, and Nathan Butler. The goals by Seitz and Casey came 35 seconds apart, and both were shorthanded.
Danial Duris would come into the game to relieve Brandon Milberg, ending his night early.
Tornqvist would grab his 13th goal of the season, his 6th on the ER-Now Power Play, to give the Warriors some life heading into the locker room by the end of the first period with a score of 3-1.
Duris didn’t see a shot in the game until the second period when Corpus Christi defender Emerson Miller blasts a shot from the point through a screen and into the net to regain a three-goal lead in the first minute the middle period.
From that point forward, Duris would become a brick wall, and the comeback took hold as the Warriors started to find their game toward the back half of the period. In his first game back, Carter Korpi would drop the gloves with Colby Seitz at 14:24 and become a spark of inspiration for the Warriors bench.
Dean Bauchiero, the birthday boy that night, would get himself a gift in the form of a power-play goal as he would deflect a shot from the blue line from Cole Teleki to cut the lead in half.
Dominick Rivelli mopped up a juicy rebound left by IceRays goaltender Damon Beaver in the final minute of the period, and it became a one-goal game by the sound of the buzzer, a score of 4-3.
The comeback became official when Harguindeguy would collect the puck in the slot and made no mistake about it, scorching it past Beaver to get the tie in the third period. Both teams would collect a pair of minor penalties, but by the period’s end, it would be the third time in a row both teams would need extra time to find a victor.
The five-minute overtime saw a plethora of chances from both sides, with each team’s netminders having to be on their toes, making quality saves on quality chances, but a shootout was needed to end the game.
The shootout went to seven rounds:
Warriors Shooters: Corpus Christi Shooters:
#14 Brendan Williams: Goal #8 Nathan Butler: No Goal
#24 Joseph Harguindeguy: No Goal #19 Michael Casey: Goal
#27 Riley Brueck: No Goal #10 Jude Kurtas: No Goal
#3 Dominic Rivelli: No Goal #22 Dylan Contreras: No Goal
#6 Max Dronen: No Goal #26 Braden Rourke: No Goal
#23 Drew Vieten: Goal #21 Trey Zegrzebski: Goal
#9 Cade Lemmer: No Goal #4 Dominic Foglia: Goal
It was the 4th time in 5 games that these two teams had a game decided by one goal. The Warriors, despite their start, earned themselves a hard-earned point.
Beaver would earn his 15th win, while Duris, in relief, gains the shootout loss by stopping 18 of 19 shots he faced.
Milberg would get the start for Saturday night. Assistant Coach Brennan Couet noted during his interview in the first-period intermission report that the defect the team faced the night before wasn’t on Milberg and that this coaching staff trusts what he brings to the ice.
What he brought was a shutout.
The first period saw a pair of goals from the Warriors as Owen Dyer picked up his 2nd goal of the season at the 4:18 mark, firing it from the right side past Beaver, who also made his second start of the weekend.
Rivelli scored his second goal of the weekend at 15:17 of the opening frame, giving the IceRays a shorthanded goal against, and the period would end with a Warriors lead of 2-0.
The second period showed no change in score but had physicality with a couple of roughing calls and dropped gloves. Bauchiero squared off with Killian at 8:43, and both would start the next period in their respective penalty boxes.
After a lengthy delay between the periods due to a problem with the Zamboni, the IceRays would come into the third period by pressing the Warriors, collecting sixteen shots in the third period to the Warriors three.
Bauchiero deflects a pass from Korpi past the IceRays goaltender at the 7:10 mark. That would be the only score happening in the period, as the Warriors parked the bus and held their zone with notable shot blocks from Tornqvist and the rest of the defenseman that would assist Milberg in keeping the goose egg on the board until the final buzzer.
Milberg would collect his 3rd shutout as a member of the Warriors, stopping 29 shots. Beaver grabs the loss, going 1-1-0-0 on the weekend series.
The Warriors are back home for Hockey Fights Cancer this upcoming weekend against the El Paso Rhinos at 7:05 CST. We will have our Paint the Ice event the night before on March 10th, between 5:30-7:30 p.m., to write an inspiring quote, commemorate a loved one, or write down who you are fighting for. The $5 donation will go to Women Rock and their cause.
Written by: Scott Masom