The Amarillo Wranglers completed a weekend at sweep of El Paso with a 4-1 win on Friday, followed by a 5-3 victory on Saturday at the Amarillo Civic Center’s Budweiser Bullpen.
With the pair of victories, Amarillo was able to finish off the season sweep of the Rhinos going 8-0 against El Paso this year.
Gaining four much needed points, the Wranglers sit at 26-23-1-1 (55 points), and are currently Shreveport (28-18-1-4, 64 points) by six points for the fourth and final playoff spot in the NAHL South Division with eight games to play.
Amarillo keeps its destiny in its own hands hosting the Mudbugs with a chance to gain ground on Shreveport this Friday and Saturday.
Friday night’s game started off hot for Amarillo as Glebs Prohorenkovs scored his 16th goal of the season at the 1:47 mark of the first period. CJ Zezima started it off the second period on a power play goal, giving the Wranglers a 2-0 lead at the 4:03 mark. Zezima scored again on a wicked defection shot at the 8:02 mark of the second period, putting Amarillo up 3-0.
The Wranglers put the icing on the cake by getting a final goal in the third period when Ukrainian and recently announced NAHL South Division Player of the Week, Danylo Korzhyletskyi, scored his fourth goal of the season, a 4-1 advantage they’d never relinquish.
Wranglers goalie Carter Clafton stopped 43-of-44 shots for his 14th victory of the season.
Saturday night’s game saw the El Paso Rhinos come out with a big chip on their shoulder on a quest to stop the season sweep. Korzhyletskyi crushed those hopes of the Rhinos within the first 31 seconds of the game to give the Wranglers a 1-0 lead. The Rhinos came back to tie it but to no avail, as Prohorenkovs scored his 17th goal of the season. Korzhyletskyi scored his second goal of the night and fifth of the season putting Amarillo back on top for good. Latvian phenom Kristaps Skrastins scored his 32nd goal of the year to give Amarillo a 3-1 lead going into the third period. The Rhinos made it interesting by scoring quickly in the third, making the game 3-2. Skrastins gave the Wranglers insurance with his second score of the game at the 18:59 mark of the third period to register his 33rd goal of the season (third all of the NAHL). Amarillo went on for a 5-3 win.