After the first muptlie OT game of the North American Hockey League Playoffs. The Texas Tornado were unable to finish off the Bandits in Frisco. Because of the two losses on Wednesday and Thursday Night, the 5th and deciding game will be taking place on Saturday Night to determine who will play the Topeka/Springfield Winner in the South Division Final.
Joe Kalisz was the hero of the night for St. Louis scoring the opening goal of the game and finishing off the Triple OT Marathon where the game went 113 minutes which was one of the longest games in the history of the Texas Tornado. Axel Boyer and Justin Jones were the goal scorers in the game for the Tornado.
As for Jack Prince who was the team's leading scorer has pretty much been M.I.A for the most part with just a single assist in this series and has been probably the biggest disappointments for the Tornado in the playoffs.
From the Texas Tornado Booster Club Website: www.texastornadobc.com
The Texas Tornado and St. Louis Bandits played 113:47 to decide tonight's game. That's how evenly matched the two were again tonight as well as the proceeding three games. Quite a contrast to the five Tornado VS. Bandits tilts leading up to the first round of the playoffs. Since then, neither team has had a much of an upper hand.
Tonight was another low scoring game. St. Louis picked up a goal early in the first by Kalisz that quieted the sparse crowd of a few hundred. Five Penalties were called but resulted in no scoring.
The Bandits Ryan Belonger scored in the 2nd followed 30 seconds later by Alex Boyer goal (Einersen) to make it 2-1 Bandits. Another Skirmish resulted in the only penalties of the period all coming at 16:53 and mostly off-setting.
Justin Jones goal tied the game (from Rostenkowski and Howard) which really brought the fans into the game. Texas picked up one two minute minor penalty and the Bandits took the two neither resulted in scoring but, the period ended only after repeated heart stopping rushes and miraculous saves. Hockey just doesn't get any more exciting then playoff action with so much on the line. With the horn sounded the end of regulaton play still tied, many in the stands were just learning in the playoffs, there is no 5 minute 4 on 4 and then a shootout to decide the match. No, full twenty minute periods of sudden death. Clean the ice and start all over for as long as it takes to get a puck in the net.
The tension of knowing just one slip up could end the Bandits season or force a game 5 in St. Louis where no Tornado fan or player wants round one to be decided. Every pass, every shot, every rebound could be it. Watching is maddening. Playing must be much worse.
And so it went for twenty minutes and nothing. Clean the ice and do it again, nothing. Clean the ice and do it again for the 3rd overtime. Someone is going to get the goal, but who will it be? Will it be the Tornado or the Bandits? Thirteen minutes in bing, bang, boom, the pucks trickles past Dan Sullivan and it's all over. The Bandits live to play game 5 and they mob Joe Kalisz for his second goal of the night while Texas is stunned and they slowly make their way to the locker room.
101 shots in one game. Dan faced 54 shots and stopped all but 3. At the other end, Tyler Bruggeman had faced 47 shots and stopped 45. Both had played just incredible games. All the players had played incredible game! Someone had to win - eventually - the Tornado hoped it would have been.
The Series is now tied at 2-2. The final game to decide which team moves on round two will be played in St. Louis this Saturday.
The Series is tied at 2-2
St. Louis Bandits 3 Texas Tornado 2 (3OT) (1-0, 1-1, 0-1, 0-0, 0-0, 1-0)
1-0 STL: Joe Kalisz (Quakenbush, Raley) 3:04 1st
2-0 STL: Ryan Belonger (Edwards, Sheehan) 5:03 2nd
2-1 TEX: Alex Boyer (Einersen) 5:38 2nd
2-2 TEX: Justin Jones (Rostenkowski, Howard) 3:58 3rd
3-2 STL: Joe Kalisz (Sheehan, Kitto) 13:47 3OT
SOG: STL 54 TEX 47
PP: STL 0/5 TEX 0/5
PIM: STL 20 Minutes on 10 Penalties TEX 20 Minutes on 10 Penalties
Goalies: STL Tyler Bruggeman 45 SVS on 47 Shots TEX
3rd Star: Tyler Bruggeman (STL)
2nd Star: Justin Jones (TEX)
1st Star: Dan Sullivan (TEX)
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