Texas looks to get back on track after three losses to 1st place Fairbanks
Tornado travels to Wenatchee to face Wild this weekend
The Texas Tornado finish their five-game western road swing this weekend with two games in Wenatchee, Washington against the Wild on Friday, January 28th and Saturday, January 29th. Face-off time is 9:05pm (central) both nights. The Tornado defeated the Wild in two games earlier this season back on Frisco during the last weekend in October by scores of 2-1 and 3-2. The Tornado enter the weekend in a tie for 2nd place in the South Division with Amarillo, five points behind division-leading Topeka. Wenatchee sits in 3rd place in the West Division, eight points behind division-leading Fairbanks.
Tornado come close, but swept in Fairbanks last weekend
The Tornado played three close games in Fairbanks last weekend, but ultimately fell to the 1st place IceDogs in three straight games. Two of the three games were one-goal losses for the Tornado. Tornado forward J.D. Howard was the offensive star of the weekend, with three goals and an assist in the three games. Howard now leads the Tornado in goals with 20. Tornado forward Justin Jones, who returned from the University of Denver early last week, went scoreless in his season debut.
Tony Curtale Show returns on Tuesday, February 1st
The Texas Tornado has announced that the ‘Tony Curtale Show’ will return for a 5th season on Tuesday, February 1st beginning at 6:00pm at Gazeebo Burgers in Frisco. The Tony Curtale Show stars the Head Coach and General Manager of the Texas Tornado, Tony Curtale as he sits down and discusses the current state of the Texas Tornado and all things hockey. The weekly show will last one hour and will also feature two Texas Tornado players during each show. Fans can watch the show live at Gazeebo Burgers in Frisco, located at 6801 Warren Parkway (right off the Dallas North Tollway, next to Hall Office Park), or can listen to the show live on the internet at www.tornadohockey.com courtesy of Radio Free Frisco. Fans can also submit questions for the coach or players live in person, or via an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fan advisory: January broadcast schedule
The Texas Tornado road games on January 28-29 in Wenatchee will be broadcast by the Wenatchee Wild broadcast team. There will be no Tornado road broadcast available. The Tornado broadcast will return on Thursday, February 3rd in the home game against New Mexico.
Prince, Freibergs, Sliwinski and Leef make NAHL Top Prospects
The NAHL has announced the rosters for next month’s Top Prospects Tournament, which will be held from Feb. 20-22 at the Ice Cube in Ann Arbor, MI. Tornado players Jack Prince, Ralfs Freibergs, Nate Sliwinski and Jackson Leef, with the Head Coach Tony Curtale, will represent the Tornado at the event as a part of Team South. Each team consists of a 20-man roster, with minor player crossover amongst the four teams. The Tornado were allowed four players and a coach at the event because of their 2nd place standing in the South Division back on January 17th.
Upcoming Tornado promotions
February is FAM-tastic month with the Tornado! For every home game during the month of February, get 4 End Zone tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 chips and 4 Dr Peppers for just $40! Call 972-335-9800 for details.
Saturday, February 12 vs. Amarillo - Pink in the Rink Night. It’s time once again for the annual Tornado Pink in the Rink Night. This year’s Pink in the Rink with Benefit Relay for Life and also have the Flowers Cup. The Tornado will wear special pink jerseys which will be auctioned off following the game.
THE WEEK THAT WAS…
Saturday, January 22 – Texas Tornado 2 @ Fairbanks IceDogs 3
As the Texas Tornado found out this weekend, close isn’t good enough. For the second night in a row, the Tornado came ‘close,’ but ultimately were swept by the Fairbanks IceDogs late Saturday night thanks to opportunistic scoring and good goaltending. And, despite outshooting the IceDogs by a wide 36-22 margin, including 14-2 in the 3rd period, it was Fairbanks who came out on top defeating the Tornado 3-2, completing the three-game sweep. J.D. Howard and Marc Biggs scored for Texas. The game started with a fight between Mico Solorzano and Charlie Thauwald, with Solorzano proving he can throw with anyone in the league. But, it was Fairbanks who would be charged up and strike first. After a couple of saves by Tornado netminder Jimmy Kruger, Jared Linnell would pounce on a rebound and bury the third rebound for a 1-0 Fairbanks lead. Fairbanks struck again to make it 2-0 as five minutes into the 2nd period as a shot from the sideboards was saved by Kruger, but the rebound came right to a wide open John Stampohar on the backdoor. Texas would strike back as J.D. Howard continued his hot play with his 20th goal of the season as he fired a shot from the top of the circle over the glove of Fairbanks goaltender Joe Phillipi to make it 2-1. Assists on the goal went to David Rigatti and Ralf Freibergs. However, a Tornado penalty, which has done them in the entire series, would ultimately lead to the game-winning goal by Fairbanks as Gabe Levin one-timed a shot past Kruger to make it 3-1. The Tornado dominated the 3rd period, outshooting Fairbanks 14-2, but could only manage on goal as Marc Biggs scored on the power play after a nice passing play from Rock Einersen and J.D. Howard. The rest of the game was Phillipi’s chance to shine, as he shut the door for the remaining 18 minutes completing the three-game sweep at home for Fairbanks. The Tornado have now lost all five games to the IceDogs this season.
Friday, January 21 – Texas Tornado 5 @ Fairbanks IceDogs 6
Leads of 1-0, 3-1, 4-3 and 5-4 were not enough as 3rd period penalties and two Fairbanks goals doomed the Tornado as they fell to the IceDogs in Fairbanks on Friday night, 6-5. J.D. Howard scored two goals in the Tornado loss. In almost exact opposite fashion as Thursday night’s game, it would be the Tornado scoring first on the power play in this game as less than four minutes in some nice passing between Tyler Rostenkowski and Marc Biggs got the puck to J.D. Howard who scored his team-leading 18th goal of the season to give the Tornado a valuable 1-0 lead. However, less than two minutes later Alec Hajdukovich would equalize with a shot that beat Tornado goaltender Jake Stafford to tie the game at 1-1. The Tornado would answer right back to regain the lead just :23 seconds later as Mike Fleming poked home a loose puck to make it 2-1 at the end of the 1st period, as both teams fired nine shots on goal. An active 2nd period saw the Tornado increase the lead to 3-1 on a shorthanded goal as J.D. Howard scored his second of the game as defenseman George Malliaras made a great individual effort down in the Fairbanks zone to maintain the puck and get to an open Howard in the front of the net. But, the lead would not last long as back-to-back breakaway goals tied the game for the IceDogs in front of the raucous home crowd. First, Jared Linnell scored on a breakaway as he got behind the Tornado defense and slipped a backhand past Stafford. Then, Hajdukovich would streak in on a 1-1, elude the Tornado defender and somehow slid a shot under Stafford to tie the game once again. The see-saw scoring continued as the Tornado regained the lead as Rock Einersen scored his 19th goal of the season, breaking a six-game goal scoring slump, as he took a nice pass from behind the net by linemate David Rigatti to put the Tornado back on top, 4-3. But again, Fairbanks had an answer. This time, Jared Linnell would come down the left wing 1 on 1 and fire a shot over the catching glove of Stafford that rang off the post and in to tie the game at 4-4. Seven minutes before the period ended, the Tornado would get their third lead of the game as a shot from the point by former IceDog John Kirtland was stopped by Fairbanks goaltender Steve Perry, but the loose rebound was smashed home by Jack Prince for a 5-4 Tornado lead heading into the intermission after a combined six goals in the 2nd period. Just as they had in the 2nd period, the Tornado could not hold the lead as Alec Hajdukovich scored his 2nd goal of the game as Taylor Munson tucked a shot home on the back post past Stafford to tie the game at 5-5 just over four minutes into the 3rd period. Thanks to more needless Tornado penalties, the IceDogs would capture their first lead of the night on the power play as Sean O’Rourke found the back of the net as he fired a shot from the point past a screened Stafford. Any thoughts of a comeback for Texas were squashed by countless trips to the penalty box as the Tornado dropped their fourth game of the season to Fairbanks. The Tornado were whistled for the last seven penalties of the game, including six in the 3rd period alone and have now allowed 11 goals in two games in Alaska.
Thursday, January 20 – Texas Tornado 2 @ Fairbanks IceDogs 5
The Texas Tornado penalty kill was helpless on Thursday night in Fairbanks, as the IceDogs used three power play goals to defeat the Tornado 5-2, ending the Tornado win streak at five games. Texas will face Fairbanks again on Friday night at 10:30pm central time. The IceDogs took it to the Tornado from the start of the game and it didn’t take long for the home team to gain the lead. On an early power play, Jared Linnell fired a shot from the low face-off circle that beat Texas goaltender Jimmy Kruger less than three minutes into the game for a 1-0 Fairbanks lead. The Tornado would answer back as forward Mico Solorzano took advantage of a broken play and IceDogs turnover, as he fired a loose puck from the slot past IceDogs goaltender Steve Perry to tie the game at 1-1. Fairbanks would answer right back as a shot from the point deflected off a Tornado player and in behind Kruger for a 2-1 Fairbanks lead after the opening 20 minutes. The IceDogs power play gave the home team a 3-1 lead with another early goal, time in the 2nd period as Alexander Jensen smacked home a loose puck after the IceDogs got Kruger scrambling and out of position. The IceDog onslaught would continue as John Stampohar made it 4-1 as he streaked down the left wing, made Kruger go down and wrapped home a shot from the opposite side after going behind the net. The Tornado outshot the IceDogs for the second straight period, but could not find the back of the net as Fairbanks took the three goal lead to the lockerroom. The Tornado cut the lead to 4-2 less than one minute into the 3rd period as Nate Sliwinski continued his recent hot play with his 7th goal of the season with a helper to linemate Jackson Leef. However, it would be as close as the Tornado could get the rest of the way as the Fairbanks power play would be too much on this night. With just over five minutes remaining Alec Hajdukovich recorded his third point of the night as he one-timed a slapshot from the left circle that beat Kruger to the far side for a 5-2 Fairbanks lead. Although the Tornado badly outshot the IceDogs 29-19, the IceDogs power play was an efficient 3 for 5 on the night, while Texas went 0 for 2 and watched their five-game winning streak come to a halt.