The Amarillo Wranglers celebrate after scoring a goal against the Shreveport Mudbugs on Saturday night at the Amarillo Civic Center. [Ben Jenkins/ Press Pass Sports]
The Amarillo Wrangler swept the Shreveport Mudbugs at home this weekend in the Budweiser Bullpen.
The Wranglers won the first game in convincing style, 4-1, and came back to beat the Mudbugs in a 4-3 nailbiter that included overtime, and a shoot out.
Despite the strong home showing, the Wranglers weren’t able to cap off the weekend with perfection falling short to the New Mexico Ice Wolves, 3-0, in a cumbersome road contest for a rare Sunday afternoon.
Friday Night at the Budweiser Bullpen
Nikolas Campbell struck first for the Amarillo Wranglers with a gift as he was able to land the puck in the empty net as Mudbug goalie Simon Bucheler was out of position. The Wranglers were able to score for the second time in the first period when Glebs Prohorenkovs found a bounce and a seam to give the Wranglers a 2-0 lead at the end of the first.
In the spirit of the “next man up” coaching philosophy that saw newly acquired defenseman (formally with the Danbury Hat Tricks) Bryce Battagila score two goals to give the Wranglers the 4-1 victory.
Wrangler goalie Max Gutjahr stopped 17-of-18 shots for his eighth win of the season.
Saturday night at the Budweiser Bullpen
It’s not a Saturday night in Amarillo unless there’s shoot out hockey at the Budweiser Bullpen. In front of close to 3,000 fans — one of the largest crowds seen in years for a hockey game in Amarillo — the Wranglers put on a show that kept all the fans on the edge of their seats throughout the game. In honor of Veterans Day, the Wranglers organization put together a program that was somber and meaningful. The Red, White and Blue, along with our great veterans, were recognized and celebrated in this beautiful and meaningful event. The Budweiser Bullpen was full of energy and excitement as the Amarillo Wranglers fought back in this thriller. The Mudbugs struck first at the 7:11 mark in the first period to take an early lead. The Wranglers tied it up when Anthony Vidrick found the back of the net at the 9:01 mark in the first period. The Mudbugs scored two more times in the second period to take a 3-2 lead going into the third. In the third, Wranglers’ Logan Cleary scored his fourth goal of the season at the 11:22 mark to send this game into overtime.
In the five minute overtime period no one scored. In the shoot-out, the Latvian phenom Kristaps Skrastins was able to go deep on the Mudbugs goalie to score first. Amarillo Wranglers right winger Yaroslav Samadov scores his second goal of this young season to seal the victory for the Amarillo Wrangler in the shoot out. Max Gutjahr would register his ninth win of the season, saving 25-of-28 shots.
Sunday at the Outpost in Albuquerque, N.M.
In a perplexing and cumbersome road game, the Amarillo Wranglers traveled to Albuquerque, N.M., after a very late Saturday night shoot out victory over Shreveport. The Wranglers took a six-game winning streak into the Outpost for a rare matinee game. After a short night of sleep, a four hour bus ride, a dramatic elevation increase and in front of the USA women’s gold medal hockey team (practicing in Albuquerque to condition because of its extreme elevation), the Wranglers fell to the New Mexico Ice Wolves, 3-0.
Amarillo is 11-4 (22 points), currently sitting in second place in the NAHL South division behind first place Odessa (11-6-1, 23 points).
The Wranglers travel to Odessa to face the Jackalopes on Friday and Saturday with first place on the line
Please watch for Tommy Tee’s weekly column during the hockey season that bring a unique perspective covering the Amarillo Wranglers.