Amarillo Wranglers suffer setback with recent three-game losing skid

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Jack McDonald of the Amarillo Wranglers attempts a shot against Odessa during a North American Hockey League game over the weekend. [Lauren Correa/ Press Pass Sports]
The Amarillo Wranglers played three games in three days in two cities.

Friday and Saturday night Amarillo played host to the Odessa Jackalopes. Amarillo came up short in an exciting 4-3 overtime loss, then fell to the Jackalopes 4-0 on Saturday.

On Sunday, the Wranglers took a four-hour bus ride to Oklahoma City where they were shutout once again by the Warriors 4-0.

The Wranglers are now 26-16-6-2 with 60 points sitting in fourth place of the North American Hockey League South Division.

The Amarillo Wranglers are off this weekend before they hit the road to play two games against South Division rival Shreveport.

Friday Night

The Jackalopes came into town looking for respect. The first period had a total of 23 shots without a single puck hitting the back of the net.

Amarillo was up 2-0 early until the 7:06 mark of the second period when on a power-play Jackalopes winger Kamron Dunn sniped one between the pipes to bring Odessa within one goal.

Two short minutes later Jackalopes’ Marcus Fecko bounced one past Amarillo goalie Connor McDonough to tie this game up.

Within three minutes of the start of the third period the Jackalopes were able to take a 3-2 lead after Kowin Belsterling scored his eighth goal of the season. With less than two minutes left in this nailbiter, Roman Zap took a lightning pass from recently committed Division I University of Alaska at Anchorage defenseman Nolan Gagnon to tie this exciting game 3-3. This was Zap’s 16th goal of the season, giving him a total of 42 points, tying him with Topi Puikkonen and Jack Ivey for the team lead in points.

For the league leading 19th time this season, the Wranglers went into overtime. Within eight seconds remaining of the five-minute overtime period, Jackalopes winger Dunn scored his second goal of the evening to end this overtime thriller.

Saturday Night

In front of one of the season’s largest crowds and in a stunning and moving ceremony in celebration of local hockey legend, Jason Chafe was recognized for his contribution to the sport of hockey and his efforts to grow hockey within our great community. This night also saw milestones for two of the Amarillo Wranglers’ fan favorites Roman Zap and Luke Morris, both of whom celebrated their 100th game in the NAHL this Saturday evening. The hockey game was awkward from the very beginning, when a misguided puck found its way past Wranglers goalie Connor McDonough to set the tone for the evening’s hockey game. The Jackalopes scored three more unanswered goals in a disappointing loss for the Wranglers 4-0.

Sunday night

As a result of some cumbersome scheduling by the NAHL, the Wranglers had to make the 4-hour drive to Oklahoma City to play the Warriors in a one game series. Unfortunately for the Wranglers, Saturday night’s performance was indicative of Sunday night’s performance, as the Amarillo Wranglers lost 1-4 to the Oklahoma Warriors.

Former Amarillo Gorillas player Jason Chafe was honored over the weekend.

How are they now 

Jason Chafe is the local hockey icon who played for the Amarillo Gorillas, a minor league hockey team.

This team was most recently affiliated with the now defunct Central Hockey League (CHL). Jason earned the nickname “one punch” as a result of one of the most classic Donnybrooks in the history of Amarillo Hockey. Jason with “one punch”, took down an aggressor. The YouTube video of this “go time” has been viewed well over 6,000 times.

Jason was recognized Saturday night at the Budweiser Bullpen. A banner raising ceremony took place in his honor in a beautiful pregame ceremony with the banner for the Amarillo Hockey Community Hero raised, proudly displaying the red No. 10 and the classic Gorillas logo.

“This meant everything to me,” Chafe said. “My love for hockey, my love for the community and my love for my family. It all came full circle. This ceremony represents the community, our love and passion for one another, and the great sport of hockey.”

Jason is not only an iconic hockey player in the community but he’s also a visionary and a pioneer relative to the growth of youth hockey in our community.

His undying dedication to these young children is quantifiable. The direct community interaction via coaching, educational opportunities or his respected business, Jason Chafe’s State Farm is always welcomed. We are lucky to have him.

We at Press Pass Sports congratulate Jason Chafe not just for this amazing honor, but who you are as a human being. Thank you.

Editor’s Note

Please listen for Tommy Tee‘s weekly recap of the Amarillo Wranglers hockey on the “Drive at Five” with Lance Lahnert every Thursday afternoon at 5 p.m. exclusively on 102.9 FM the Panhandle Sports Star.

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