Amarillo, Tx– In front of a sell-out crowd at the Budweiser Bullpen, the Amarillo Wranglers shut out the Lone Star Brahams for the second straight night and moved into a playoff spot with a 1-to-0 win Saturday night.
The Wranglers started their last regular season home game by honoring their nine seniors before the game. Amarillo went into the game looking to grab the final playoff spot in the South division.
Unlike Friday’s game, the crowd did not have to wait long to see Amarillo get the game’s first goal. Chase Davis carried the puck into the Lone Star zone and shot the puck off the pad of Brahmas goalie Arthur Smith. Smith did not control the rebound, and Ronan Walsh was able to control the puck and score on the rebound at 6:46 of the opening period.
Later in the period, all ten skaters would come together after Pierce Patterson took an extra shove after the whistle. Zach Bye and Divyne Apollon would come to the defense of Patterson and extend the bout behind the Amarillo goal. The crowd of over 4,800 came to a roar when Apollon pumped up the crowd after being escorted to the locker room serving a misconduct penalty. Amarillo would take the 1-to-0 lead into the intermission.
Lone Star would pepper Connor McDonough with shots throughout the second period but could not find an answer to the red-hot Wranglers’ goaltender. Both teams would get power plays in the period, and neither would find the back of the net. The wind would be taken out of the Bullpen when Lone Star forward Mason Mara charged Ben Ivey into the boards to send Ivey off the ice with assistance from his teammates. No penalty was assessed on the hit as the teams entered the second intermission.
Amarillo would continue to cause fits for the Lone Star scorers, who had been held off the board in five straight periods on the weekend. Both sides would again take multiple penalties, but the penalty kill units would do their jobs and keep the score 1-to-0. The Wranglers would hold on to shutout Lone Star in back-to-back games and earn their seventh straight win.
With the win and a 6-to-1 Odessa victory over New Mexico, the Wranglers currently hold the final playoff spot in the South division with two games left. Connor McDonough was named the NAHL South Division Star of the Week for his consecutive shutouts.
The crowd of 4,870 was announced as the first sellout for the second-year Amarillo Wranglers. Amarillo will close the regular season with two games in Odessa to take on the Jackalopes.