Tyler Bruggeman and Dan Sullivan put on a show Wednesday Night as the two goalies stopped a combined 48 of 49 shots combined in the game, and gave both teams a chance to win the game in Frisco last night. However, an unassisted goal by Cody Ganchar early in the 2nd period that scored the only goal of the game to help the Bandits stay alive in the playoffs and force a game 4 coming tonight as the Bandits will look to force a game 5 while the Tornado will be looking to knockout the 3 time Defending Robertson Cup Champions from the playoffs.
Game 4 will be played tonight over in Frisco, while a possible 5th and deciding game in the series would be back in Missouri coming up on Saturday Night.
From the Texas Tornado Booster Club Website: www.texastornadobc.com
The St. Louis Bandits dashed hopes of a Texas sweep in their best-of-5 round one battle. Judging by the first two games in Chesterfield where the Tornado won by close margins, a third win on Frisco Ice was conceivable. Thoughts that the three time NAHL defending champions would crumble to Texas without a big fight was not realistic as proven on Wednesday with their 1-0 win.
Both teams came out determined and got to work from the drop of the puck. perhaps the Bandits looked a little stronger early on since their backs were against the wall - if they lose the season is over. The Tornado were gunning for a win and an advancement to the NAHL Southern Division Finals.
This game was all-business. No Bravado. Don't make mistakes, play defense and stay out of the box. And they did. The hits were hard but measured. Positional play was excellent. Both goalies were sharp.
The first saw Texas out-shooting the Bandits 6-3 but no goals despite a brief 5-on-3 while the Bandits served the only 2 penalties of the period.
Cody Ganchar beat Dan Sullivan at 2:29 into the 2nd period with an unassisted goal which turned out to be the only goal of the game and of course the game winner. Texas was called for two penalties in the 2nd and they were only Tornado Penalties of the game. Both teams picked up 11 shots on goal as well.
The third was more back and fourth careful play with the Tornado forcing the pressure more and more. Great action but tense to watch. As time was closing in the Bandits Ryan Stoffer was called at 17:40 for tripping (the lone penalty of the period) and giving Tornado fans hope that the team could tie it up. Tony pulled Sullivan with 1:08 left for the man advantage but Bruggeman stoned the Tornado efforts and earned the win.
For the Bandits this game was win or die. For the Tornado, there was tomorrow. Anytime you play the Bandits for sixty minutes and you are in every second, you have played a really good game. The Team did and it was a great contest.
Thursday night is a must win for the Tornado to end the series, or they will have to go to St. Louis for a 5th and deciding game in St. Louis and that would be such a hard task.
Texas out-shot the Bandits 27 to 22. Picked up just 2 penalties but no goals and were 0-4 on the powerplay. Dan Sullivan played 58:52 of the 60 minute game stopping 21 of 22 shots. Finally Jack Prince was credited with 7 shots which was the most of any player in the game.
Texas Leads Series 2-1
St. Louis Bandits 1 Texas Tornado 0 (0-0, 1-0, 0-0)
1-0 STL: Cody Ganchar (Unassisted) 2:29 2nd
SOG: STL 22 TEX 27
PP: STL 0/2 TEX 0/4
PIM: STL 8 Minutes on 4 Penalties TEX 4 Minutes on 2 Penalties
Goalies: STL Tyler Bruggeman 27 SVS on 27 Shots TEX Dan Sullivan 21 SVS on 22 Shots
3rd Star: Joe Adams (TEX)
2nd Star: Shane Sooth (TEX)
1st Star: Dan Sullivan (TEX)
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