The Amarillo Wranglers earned a two-game sweep from the El Paso Rhinos last Friday and Saturday at the Sierra Providence Event Center in El Paso.
The Wranglers won Friday’s game 5-1, followed by a 3-2 victory to keep their playoff hopes alive. Amarillo (23-22-1-1, 49 points) is only four points out of the fourth and final playoff spot behind both Odessa (24-19-1-4, 53 points) and Shreveport (24-18-1-4, 53 points), in the North American Hockey League South Division standings with 12 games to play.
The Wranglers dominated all facets of Friday’s game. After the announcement of a season-ending injury for Wranglers captain and defensemen, Michael Spinner, Amarillo made a bold statement. Defensemen Kyle Demarco scored his first NAHL goal at the 2:13 mark of the first period to start the scoring for the Wranglers. Fresh off his “Sports Drive” appearance, Tommy Chunchukov continued with his hot stick, scoring his fourth goal in just three games. Amarillo went on to score three more unanswered goals to take the victory 5-1. Newly acquired Goalie Carter Clafton saved 30-of-31 shots to notch his third win of the season.
Saturday’s contest saw a closer affair, however, the score does not represent the reality of the game. Latvian phenom and University of New Hampshire commit, Kristap Skrastins, scored two goals in this game— his 29th and 30th for the season. Skrastins is second in the league with goals scored this season. Goalie Clafton saved 30-of-32 shots, to take his fourth victory of the season, also earning him NAHL South Division Player of the Week.
The Amarillo Wranglers travel to Odessa this weekend to take on the Jackalopes in a matchup that has major playoff Implications.