The Amarillo Wranglers split the weekend series with the Lone Star Brahmas in Dallas, however, took it on the chin from the first place Oklahoma Warriors by a 7-1 count in a rare Wednesday night affair in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Wranglers were able to rebound Friday night to beat the Brahmas 4-1. Saturday night saw a shut out by Lone Star as the Wranglers fell 3-0. The Amarillo Wranglers (20-16-2-1, 43 points) have won four out of their last seven games on this most recent road trip and are five points behind the Shreveport Mudbugs (21-13-2-4, 48 points) for the final playoff spot.
The Amarillo Wranglers rode into Oklahoma City on a two-game winning streak. “The Big Friendly” wasn’t too friendly as Amarillo ran into a buzz saw by the name of Joey Delgreco. The Warriors’ forward Delgreco – or as he’s affectionately called by the locals “Del Gretzky” – had a six-point night as the league-leading Oklahoma Warriors beat the Wranglers 7-1. Latvian native and top prospects participant Rihards Simanovics scored his 11th goal of the season for Amarillo’s lone goal.
Friday night’s game saw the Wranglers team hungry for a victory after Wednesday night’s loss to the Warriors. The cold and icy weather that played havoc on the Metroplex last weekend had no impact on the heat inside of NYTEX Sports complex in North Richland Hills. This game was chippy and physical from the start. The Brahmas drew first blood at the 4:07 mark of the first period when Czech David Skuhrovec scored his fourth goal of the season. The Brahmas took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. After a chippy start to the second, Amarillo captain Chase Davis scored his 11th goal of the season to tie the game for the Wranglers. Wranglers forward and fan favorite Zach Kent, coming off a back injury, “sniped” a shot to take the lead. Less than two minutes later, Wranglers forward Jack McDonald scored the Wranglers’ third goal of the night as Amarillo went on for a 4-1 victory. Amarillo goalie Luca Ganz stopped 17-of-18 shots and is 14-7-0-0 with a GAA (Goals Against Average) of 2.54.
Saturday night’s crowd at a normally packed NYTEX Sports Complex was light because of the icy weather. The temperatures were cold outside, however Brahmas’ goalie Arthur Smith was hotter than Georgia asphalt between the pipes this Saturday night. The Wranglers were shut out as Smith notched his 13th victory of the season and added to his league leading GAA of a remarkable 1.53.
The Amarillo Wranglers are back home at the Budweiser Bullpen after a seven-game road trip bosting the Lone Star Bahamas in a key series on Friday and Saturday. 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 a Lance Lahnert on the Panhandle Sports Star (102.9-F.M.)