It wasn’t the start the Amarillo Wranglers were looking for.
The Wranglers went on the road and dropped the first two games of their best-of-five North American Hockey League South Divisional round series to the Oklahoma Warriors. Amarillo fell in game one, 5-2, followed by a 6-2 loss on Saturday night.
The Wranglers were the hottest team in the NAHL carrying a nine-game winning streak heading into the divisional round. Under the eyes of a sold-out crowd and a large Amarillo contingency, the Warriors scored four times in the first period. Joey Delgreco got things going for the Warriors sniping a goal that hit the back of the net to start the scoring. Not 20 seconds later, Warriors William Ahlirk scored his 17th goal of the season, and the theme of the night was set. West Point commit and defenseman for the Wranglers Pierce Patterson scored his 13th goal of the season at the 0:29 mark of the second period, but the effort fell short as Amarillo fell 5-2.
Series shifts to Amarillo
The Wranglers find themselves in a familiar must win situation. Down 2-0 in this best-of-five series, Amarillo must win this Friday night at the Budweiser Bullpen to continue their march to the Robertson Cup. With eight games to play in the regular season the Wranglers were down eight points, and as a result of their nine-game winning streak made the playoffs. The Wranglers find themselves in a very similar situation and must win the next three games to continue on in the NAHL playoffs.
The Voice of the Wranglers
Nick Lalpuis had the unenviable task of taking over for the “Voice of Amarillo Hockey” Dennis J. Puska, just a few short years ago before the Amarillo Bulls moved to Iowa. Lalpuis recently announced his decision to take a position in another market. Lalpuis has done a fantastic job as the voice of the Amarillo Wranglers over the last two seasons. Whether it was him doing the coaches show at the 575 Pizzeria on Wednesday nights or calling the 60 plus games every season for the Wranglers, Lalpuis represented the community and the team with class, grace and in a professional manner. His passionate calls and insightful play-by-play always made any game interesting. Good luck Nick, the Amarillo hockey community will miss you.
Friday night’s game three is a must win for the Wranglers to continue their season. The puck drops at 7:05 at the Budweiser Bullpen and what could be the last game of the season. If the Wranglers win, they will have another game Saturday night. Please watch for Tommy Tee’s weekly Wranglers update and also catch Tommy at 5 p.m. Thursday evenings on the “Drive at Five” with Lance Lahnert on the Panhandle Sports Star (102.9-F.M.)