The current Texas Tornado five-game winning streak will be put to the test this week as they travel to Fairbanks, Alaska for a three-game series on January 20-22. The Ice Dogs are 8-2 in their last 10 games and boast a 24-11-2 record heading into the three-game series. Fairbanks is in second place in the West Division, one point behind the Alaska Avalanche of Wasilla, but the Ice Dogs have played five fewer games. Fresh off a three-game home sweep last week, the Tornado come to town winner of their last five straight with a 6-2-2 mark in their last 10 games and are 23-7-6 overall. Texas is second in the South Division, one point behind the Topeka RoadRunners. Texas hosted Fairbanks earlier in the season where the Ice Dogs came away with a 5-3 victory on Sept. 25 and a 6-5 overtime win the next night.
Tornado continue winning streak with three-game sweep
With two wins over the Fresno Monsters and a win over the Wichita Falls Wildcats last week, the Texas Tornado kept pace in the South Division with three big home wins last week. Texas remains one point behind Topeka for 1st place with 51 points. Texas has 15 wins this season at home, which ranks 2nd in the NAHL, behind St. Louis’ 17 wins. Forward Nate Sliwinski was the offensive star with five points in the three games and is now currently riding a five-game point streak.
Tornado welcome back Justin Jones; Gregory released
Texas Tornado Head Coach and General Manager Tony Curtale has announced that former Texas Tornado forward Justin Jones has returned to the team after spending the first semester at the University of Denver. “There were a variety of reasons he decided to leave school,” said Curtale. “I think Justin returning to the team will allow him to focus on developing more as a player and get him into a better collegiate situation where is more comfortable and can get the playing time he wants and deserves.” Last season, Jones had 20 points in 54 games played for the Tornado, but was 2nd on the team in playoff scoring with three points in five games. In order to make room for Jones, the Tornado parted ways with forward Patrick Gregory, who played two games with Texas, recording two assists.
Fan advisory: January broadcast schedule
The Texas Tornado road games in Fairbanks on January 20-22 and January 28-29 in Wenatchee will be broadcast by the respective home teams. There will be no road broadcast available.
Four Tornado players to represent at NAHL Top Prospects
The NAHL has announced the number of players that will represent each team at next month’s Top Prospects Tournament, which will be held from Feb. 20-22 at the Ice Cube in Ann Arbor, MI. Four teams - Team Central, Team North, Team South and Team West - will play a three-game round robin. The number of players a team can send is based upon their divisional standing as of Jan. 17. The Tornado will send four players and Head Coach Tony Curtale will be one of two coaches behind the South Division bench.
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 15 – Fresno Monsters 3 @ Texas Tornado 4 (OT)
Three unanswered goals including the overtime winner by J.D. Howard gave the Texas Tornado a 4-3 victory over Fresno on Saturday night in front of 2,543 fans at the Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco, extending the Tornado win streak to five games. Ralfs Freibergs had a goal and an assist and Marc Biggs and Nate Sliwinski also scored for Texas in the win. The Monsters scored first on a power play goal from the point off the stick of Walker Hyland, who’s shot squeaked through Tornado goaltender Jake Stafford for a 1-0 Fresno lead. The Monsters outshot the Tornado 12-8 in the opening period. Tornado defenseman Ralfs Freibergs has the only goal of the 2nd period, which came with just :35 seconds remaining in the period as a centering pass from Mico Solorzano bounced in front right to a loose Freibergs, who poked it in past Fresno goaltender Tom Conlin. A wild 3rd period saw Fresno take a 3-1 lead with two goals in the first four minutes. Jordan Lovick notched his second point of the night as he gave Fresno the lead back just :38 seconds in and Matthew Coleman scored a shorthanded goal four minutes later to give Fresno a 3-1 lead early in the 3rd period. But, the never-say-die Tornado came back with a goal from Marc Biggs, who ripped home a shot past Conlin from the high slot with assists to Joseph Mottiqua and Patrick Gregory to make it 3-2. With five minutes remaining the in the 3rd period, Nate Sliwinski, who has been on fire, scored to tie the game at 3-3 with helpers to Jackson Leef and newcomer George Malliaras. The Tornado had a late power play which went into overtime. Sliwinski thought he had ended it with a rebound goal, but a quick whistled negated the potential game-winner. However, just minutes later, J.D. Howard followed his own rebound past a helpless Conlin to give the Tornado the 4-3 OT win with assists to Freibergs and David Rigatti.
Friday, January 14 – Wichita Falls Wildcats 3 @ Texas Tornado 4
The Tornado outshot the Wichita Falls Wildcats 42-18 and outlasted them on the scoreboard 4-3 on Friday night as Texas won their 4th straight game in front of 2,255 fans at the Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco. Jack Prince, Nate Sliwinski, Jackson Leef and Marc Biggs all had multi-point night games for Texas. Wichita Falls scored the game’s first goal as just over five minutes into the game an end-to-end rush by Jason McAloon ended up in a breakaway goal as he maneuvered his way past three Tornado players and lifted a backhand over starting Tornado goaltender Jimmy Kruger for a 1-0 Wildcats lead. Wildcats goaltender Tyler Green was the star the remainder of the 1st period as several Tornado chances were turned aside by the goaltender to keep the Wildcats into the lead heading into the 1st intermission despite a 14-4 Tornado shot advantage. An offensive explosion in the 2nd period saw the Tornado take the lead for good. Jackson Leef tied the game at 1-1 thanks to a nice drop pass from Nate Sliwinski as he buried a drive past Green. Jack Prince picked up the second assist. Wichita Falls would regain the lead back as Mikhail Sentyurin fired a drive past Jimmy Kruger for a 2-1 Wildcats lead, but it would be their last lead of the night. J.D. Howard would tie the game at 2-2 as a shot from Marc Biggs rang off the mask of Green with Howard on the backdoor to pick up the loose rebound. Less than a minute later and with the Tornado on the power play, Jack Prince gave the Tornado their first lead of the night as he power home a shot with help from linemates Nate Sliwinski and Jackson Leef for the 3-2 Tornado lead. A minute after that Joseph Mottiqua scored his second goal in as many games on a loose scrum to make it 4-2 with assists to Marc Biggs and the newest Tornado player Patrick Gregory, who was making his Tornado debut. The 3rd period saw the Wildcats draw within one as Daniel Hildebrant’s shot from the point beat a screened Kruger. However, that would be as close as the ‘Cats would get as the Tornado shut the door the rest of the way winning their 4th straight game and outshooting the Wildcats by a wide 42-18 margin.