After last weekends slate of tightly contested match-ups, the offensive action continued Friday night in a number of one-sided affairs and finished strong with a few thrillers. The first two shutouts of the season came with Odessa blanking Lubbock 4-0 and Bossier-Shreveport over Austin 5-0. Wichita scored in bunches early and late to rout Colorado 8-3 and Memphis put up a strong effort in their home opener to beat Youngstown 6-3. Fort Worth came back late and held off Laredo 4-3, Rio Grande Valley squeaked out the only road win of the night in dramatic fashion in Oklahoma City 4-3, and Tulsa outlasted Amarillo in a shootout to take the game 3-2.
Lubbock 0 @ Odessa 4
Odessa goaltender Mike Gorman stonewalled the Lubbock Cotton Kings making 37 saves on his way to recording one of the first two shutouts of the season in the Central Hockey League. Offensively, nothing got going until early in the second period when the Jackalopes got a goal from Adam Loncan, his first of the season. Sabastian Thinel would add an unassisted tally in the middle of the third period for a 3-0 lead recording his second goal of the season.
Austin 0 @ Bossier-Shreveport 5
Not to be outdone, Mudbugs netminder Ken Carroll earned his second win of the young season stopping 27 Ice Bats shots and helping his team to a 5-0 victory. Bossier-Shreveport forward Ryan Manitowich lit the lamp three times for the hat trick providing all the offense the Bugs needed to come away on top. Bossier-Shreveport also got a goals from Shane Palahicky and Jason Campbell and has yet to lose in regulation, now sitting at 3-0-1 on the year.
Youngstown 3 @ Memphis 6
Youngstown jumped out to a two goal lead on goals by Scott Barnes and new addition Jason Alcombrack before giving one back to Memphis Derek Landmesser just 43 second later. The RiverKings added three more including another from Landmesser, who finished with two goals and one assist, and Travis Banga, who had a solid night himself with two goals and two assists. The SteelHounds pulled to within 4-3 late in the second, but two third period goals from Memphis thwarted an attempt at a comeback by Youngstown.
Colorado 3 @ Wichita 8
The Eagles got on the board early with a power-play goal from defenseman Erik Adams less than a minute in to the game, but it was all Wichita from that point forward. Aided by the man advantage, the Thunder scored four power-play goals in the first, including a pair with a two-man advantage, to take a 4-1 lead into the intermission. Wichitas stars shone brightly as they got huge nights from Joe Blaznek (2g,3a), Jason Duda (2g,2a), and Travis Clayton (1g,3a). Colorado mounted a comeback of sorts early in the third period scoring two goals to make it 5-3, but Wichita continued with the offense getting thre more goals to set the stage for the back end of the weekend home-and-home series tomorrow night in Colorado.
Laredo 3 @ Fort Worth 4
The Laredo Bucks fought back from a 0-2 deficit to take a 3-2 lead in the third period only to see it slip away to a hungry Brahmas team 4-3. Fort Worth forward Bret Dececco scored the second and fourth goals to double his output for the season. The Bucks had help from leader Brent Cullaton (1g,1a) who upped his point total to seven on the year. Brahmas forward Wes Mason also chipped in with the 3-3, game tying goal and an assist for Fort Worth.
Rio Grande Valley 4 @ Oklahoma City 3
In a battle of the teams with the longest city names, the Blazers tied the game late before literally giving it up in the last seconds to fall 4-3. The Killer Bees Trevor Weisgerber had one goal and two assists and Blazers forward Michael Beausoleil notched a goal and a helper on the tying goal with less than three minutes remaining in the game. After Oklahoma City was ready to settle for overtime, the Valley got a gift from Bees sniper Duane Hay with only two seconds on the clock to stun the crowd and send the team away victorious. Rio Grande Valley was the only road team to win this evening.
Amarillo 2 @ Tulsa 3 (SO)
A defensive struggle for the most part, Tulsa finally broke through late in the second period and again early in the third on the power play to take a 2-0 lead over the Gorillas. Amarillo was quick to answer with their own power play goal exactly a minute later and another by Dave Rattray to knot the game at two and send the game into overtime. Nothing was decided during the extra five minute period, but Tulsa center Klage Kaeble and right wing Henry Kuster scored in the shootout (2-1 Tulsa) to put it away for the Oilers.