Just one night after coming back from a 2-0 deficit to win Game 1. The Tornado pull off another big upset in St. Louis as the Tornado are on the verge of knocking out the 3 time Robertson Cup Champions out of the playoffs and advancing to the South Division Final. For the 2nd straight game, James Howard and Shane Sooth have another huge game as the Tornado had a huge 2nd period to help make the difference to stun the St. Louis Bandits over the weekend.
The Team leading scorer from the Regular Season Jack Prince put the game with an empty netter for his 1st goal of the playoffs to put the game away to make it a 3-1 final. The Bandits defense hasn't been lighted up that much, but the goals they have given up have been critical as St. Louis is now one loss away from elimination.
From the Texas Tornado Booster Club Website: www.texastornadobc.com
The game's first stanza saw the Tornado kill off three Bandits power plays but neither team was able to find the back of the net. Officially the SOG for the first period were 11-2 in favor of St. Louis. The Tornado defense kept the Bandits on the perimeter so despite the lopsided SOG count Dan Sullivan had clear looks at most shots from the outside and easily turned them aside.
The best scoring chance of the period came when the Tornado on the penalty kill, as the Bandits were passing the puck across the ice at the point where Justin Jones got his stick in the passing lane and picked it off. He flew down the middle of the ice on the short handed breakaway and made a move to the back hand but a sprawling Groh was able to make the stop against the far post.
The Bandits were 0 for 3 on the power play while the Tornado didn't have a power play opportunity.
The Tornado were finally able to break through in the 2nd period on the power play courtesy of a Kitto two handed slash below the Tornado goal line in retaliation for a check along the end boards.
Rock Einersen stopped a clearing attempt at the far point and fed the puck down the boards to Ralfs Freibergs at the half wall. James Howard had crept down from the near point to the left circle and Freibergs saucered a pass through the crease to a wide open Howard for the tally at 8:16 mark of the 1st period.
The Tornado would score again just 3 minutes when Tyler Rostenkowski pass the puck from the blue line to Jones in the left circle for a one timer. Groh made the stick save but the rebound found its way right into Shane Sooth's wheelhouse and cranked a shot high glove side to make it 2-0 Texas.
SOG were even at 11. The Tornado converted 1 of 2 power play opportunities while the Bandits were 0 for 1.
The third period was fairly even played. St. Louis was finally able to notch a goal while on a 5 on 3 power play at 12:41 of the period. Sheehan fired a slapper from the point and Sullivan made the initial save, but Olszewski was all alone just to the left of the crease and jammed home the puck to pull the Bandits within one.
With time winding down St. Louis pulled Groh and with the extra attacker a shot came through traffic, Sullivan made the save and converted the puck. A Bandits player punched the puck loose from under Sullivan's glove and across the goal line but the referee had blown the whistle waving off the goal. On the ensuing faceoff the puck was redirected into the far corner where Jack Prince grabbed it and sent it the length of the ice into the empty net to restore the two goal lead.
SOG were 9-7 in favor of the Bandits and the Bandits were 1 for 2 on the power play while the Tornado were denied on their only opportunity.
Dan Sullivan made 36 saves of 37 shots on the evening to pick up the win and the first star of the game. For the series Sullivan has turned aside 76 of 79 shots on goal. Shane Sooth netted the game winner and picked up the 2nd star of the game. James Howard notched a goal and an assist to go along his two goal performance in game one to to give him four points in the series.
The win puts the Texas up 2 games to none in the best of five series and sends the action back to Frisco for games at 7:00 PM on Wednesday April 7th and Thursday April 8th if necessary.
Texas Tornado Leads Series 2-0
Texas Tornado 3 St. Louis Bandits 1 (0-0, 2-0, 1-1)
1-0 TEX: James Howard (PP) (Freibergs, Einersen) 8:16 2nd
2-0 TEX: Shane Sooth (Jones, Howard) 11:13 2nd
2-1 STL: Daniel Olszewski (PP) (Sheehan, Ciotti) 12:41 3rd
3-1 TEX: Jack Prince (EN) (Unassisted) 19:16 3rd
SOG: TEX 20 STL 37
PP: TEX 1/3 STL 1/5
PIM: TEX 22 Minutes on 7 Penalties STL 8 Minutes on 4 Penalties
Goalies: TEX Dan Sullivan 36 SVS on 37 Shots STL CJ Groh 17 SVS on 19 Shots
3rd Star: Daniel Olszewski (STL)
2nd Star: Shane Sooth (TEX)
1st Star: Dan Sullivan (TEX)
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