The Amarillo Wranglers came away without a single point after a disappointing weekend In Wichita Falls at the Kay Yeager Coliseum on Friday and Saturday.
The Wranglers lost to the Warriors in Friday’s opener 6-1, followed by a 4-0 shutout defeat Saturday night to Wichita Falls.
In what can only be described as a perplexing weekend that was heavily influenced by an abundance of questionable officiating, the team’s focus appeared to be impacted. On Friday night the Wranglers were hit with 12 penalties to the Warriors’ one, with Amarillo spending over 30 minutes a man short.
On Saturday night the penalties continued with the Amarillo receiving 14 penalties and the Warriors receiving five. The Wranglers spent well over half the game a man short.
Over an average season, this writer will attend and watch thoroughly over 100 hockey games per season (this includes NAHL & NHL games, and youth hockey games).
What I saw over the weekend in Wichita Falls relative to officiating was disturbing. I will never blame officials for a loss of a game, and I’m not doing so in this circumstance. However, some of the calls that were made against the Wranglers were baffling. I can only hope the league will review these games and learn from these egregious and disturbing calls.
Even though the Amarillo Wranglers spent most of the games in the penalty box, they never stop fighting. The good news is the Amarillo Wranglers will rebound and learn how to maneuver their way through tough officiating. Goalie Jon Howe from was solid in relief of goalie Max Gutjahr on Friday night saving 12-of-12 shots. The physicality and blue collar attitude this team has is alive and well. It was on display in Wichita Falls this weekend. The Wranglers lead the league in power play percentage of 50 percent.
Kristaps Skrastins continues to lead the league in scoring with 14 points.
Prolonged Road Games
The Wranglers play all their games in the month of October on the road.
The Wranglers will be back at the Budweiser Bullpen on Nov. 5, to play against the reigning Robertson Cup champion Shreveport Mudbugs.
The Amarillo Wranglers (5-3-0 overall) still sit a top of the South Division of the NAHL, tied with the Odessa Jackalopes with 10 points. The Wichita Falls Warriors are in second place with 9 points.
The Wanglers are open this weekend, and will return to the ice when they play at Shreveport on Oct. 15-16.
Please watch for Tommy Tee’s weekly column during the hockey season that bring a unique perspective covering the Amarillo Wranglers.