Amarillo, Tx– The Wranglers took down the Jackalopes 8-to-0 Friday night, with Connor McDonough extending his shutout streak to four straight games.
With an opportunity to punch their ticket to the Robertson Cup Playoffs and showed up in a big way.
Both teams started the game with grade-A scoring chances in a must-win game for the Jackalopes. Both McDonough and Gergely Orosz answered with huge saves. Halfway through the period, the Wranglers used a clean zone entry to set up Ronan Walsh, and Walsh walked to the top of the faceoff circle and fired home his second goal in as many games. Later in the period, Odessa had a few dangerous turnovers leading to chances for Jack McDonald and Ben Ivey. Orosz made show-stopping saves on both chances to keep the game 1-to-0 at the end of the first period.
At the start of the second period, the Wranglers’ forecheck caused another turnover by Odessa, where Chase Davis took advantage and found the back of the net just 20 seconds in. Davis’ goal would give Amarillo a 2-to-0 lead. Later in the period, Amarillo would add to their lead, with Luke Morris and Connor McNaughton setting up Zack Kent to open up a three-goal advantage. The Wranglers would tally another goal when Ben Ivey scored on the power play at 17:55. Amarillo would take the 4-to-0 lead into the second intermission.
Early in the third period, with Odessa on the power play, John Barker disrupted the Jackalopes’ breakout and started a rush into the other end. Barker and Blake Farrell had a 2-on-0 in the Odessa zone, and Farrell finished with the short-handed goal to give Amarillo their fifth goal of the night. With under six minutes left in the game, Odessa pulled their goalie, and Kent benefited by scoring the empty net goal for his second score of the night. The Wranglers piled on with two more empty net goals from Farrell and Preston Brighton. The Wranglers put up eight goals against Odessa for the second time this season.
Connor McDonough extended his shutout streak to 12 consecutive periods without allowing a goal. McDonough would end the night with 26 saves and his eighth straight win. During the eight-game win streak, Amarillo has outscored opponents 40-to-9.
With the Ice Wolves winning Friday night, the Wranglers could not clinch a playoff spot. For Amarillo, a win Saturday night will clinch the playoff spot, no matter the outcome of the New Mexico game.