By Kirk Estes - Texas Tornado Booster Club (Photo Rick Lasater)
Corpus Christi Ice Rays rolled into the Dr Pepper Stars Center trying to build on their three game winning streak and ran into a hungry Tornado team looking to get back to winning hockey.
The Tornado set the tone early as Jack Prince the puck into the far corner and sent it behind the net to David Rigatti who found Rock Einersen flying down the slot for a quick lead at just 1:03 into the game. The scoring was over for the period but the physical play continued throughout the period.
The second period started much the same as the first with JD Howard sniping a goal from just outside the crease on a nice pass across the ice from Jackson Leef with Ralfs Freibergs picking up the second assist. Time of the goal was 0:50. At the 10:43 mark the Tornado would extend their lead as Howard took a high flip out of the defensive zone and sent a pass between the legs of the Ice Rays defender to Nathan Sliwinski who went in all alone and he went five hole with a backhand. Just over a minute later, Prince picked off an Ice Rays pass in the neutral zone and hit Einersen in stride. Einersen walked around the defense and went high glove side. Texas closed out the scoring for the period and the game on the power play 16:01 as Freibergs fed the puck to Prince at the far circle and Prince found Sliwinski cruising down the gut for a backhander under Phoenix Copley for a 5 "“ 0 Tornado lead.
The win was the first for the Tornado in four games since extending their meeting with Wichita Falls on November 17th. Einersen and Sliwinski both netted two goals while Prince had three assists. Jimmy Kruger returned to his previous form as he had his second shut out of the season.
Shots on goal were 11 "“ 18 "“ 11 = 40 for Texas and 7 "“ 3 "“ 8 = 18 for Corpus Christi. The Tornado scored the only power play goal of the evening going 1 "“ 8 while the Ice Rays were 0 "“ 5. The same two teams will meet again Sunday afternoon at 5:00pm.