Amarillo moves closer to playoff spot, stretch win streak to four games

Corpus Christi, Tx–┬áThe Wranglers used a 4-to-3 victory Thursday morning to move closer to the four seed in the South division standings. The win also extended the Wranglers’ win streak to four.

Amarillo would take on the Ice Rays in front of 7,000 screaming school kids Thursday morning at the American Bank Center. The hometown Rays would send the crowd into a frenzy early on when Nate Murray beat Connor McDonough just 56 seconds into the game.

Jack McDonald would tie the game near the period’s halfway point by shooting the puck from behind the goalline and snuck it through Patrick Jurcak. The teams would take a 1-to-1 tie into the first intermission.

The Wranglers took only a short time to get their first lead when Luke Morris could scoop up a rebound from Jon Barker and found the back of the net at 1:38 of the second period. Corpus Christi would take consecutive penalties in the period to set up the Wranglers with a chance to double their lead. Ben Ivey would take advantage of the man advantage at 13:29 of the second to give Amarillo a 3-to-1 lead.

The Ice Rays would answer just 19 seconds later with a goal from Dylan Contreras to draw Corpus back to within a goal. The Wranglers would keep up and again turned to Ben Ivey late in the period, and Ben would tally his second goal of the period at 18:16 to restore the two-goal lead.

Corpus Christi would make it a one-goal game again early in the third period when Logan Neilson tallied a goal at 1:28 of the frame. The Wranglers’ defense would shut down the Ice Rays’ attack and limit them to only four shots in the third period. Amarillo would hold on to the lead and secure their fourth consecutive victory.

Connor McDonough has won all four starts as a Wrangler and helped the Wranglers move to two points behind the New Mexico Ice Wolves in the standings. Amarillo will look to extend their streak Friday night before turning their sights to the Lone Star Brahams next weekend in a crucial showdown at the Budweiser Bullpen.