Shorthanded Wranglers battle Warriors in Friday slugfest

Mar 18, 2023

Oklahoma City, Ok-The Amarillo Wranglers went toe-to-toe with the top-ranked Oklahoma Warriors in a 6-to-4 slugfest, where the hometown Warriors ended up on top for their 41st win of the year.

A task that presents many challenges on its own has been compounded by illness and injuries to the Wranglers’ roster, where three players did not make the trip to Oklahoma. The Wranglers looked to bounce back from a 5-to-0 showing Thursday evening and rose to the challenge Friday night.

Yet again, the Warriors opened the scoring early on when Max Dronen found the back of the net at 3:34 of the game. The Wranglers would waste no time responding with a Pierce Patterson powerplay goal at 4:48 of the period. Amarillo would use the tying goal to gather momentum and be the quicker team throughout the period. Both goalies would keep the puck out for the remainder of the period, and both teams would take the intermission with a 1-to-1 tie.

Amarillo started to frustrate the Warriors in the second period by being the more physical team and drew three straight penalties against the best team in the league. The Wranglers could not cash in on the power play, but Ben Ivey would finally find the back of the net moments after the power play expired to give the Wranglers their first lead of the series at 10:51 of the second period. Jonathan Barker would take a penalty after Ivey’s goal to send the Warriors to the powerplay. Moments into the Oklahoma man advantage, Blake Farrell collided with Garret Horsager along the wall, which sent the Warriors defenseman down to the ice and ended Blake Farrell’s night as he was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct for boarding.

Oklahoma would find the back of the net on the 5-on-3 power play to tie the game. The Wranglers would kill off the five-minute major penalty, and again, both teams went to the locker room in a tie contest.

The Warriors would claim a two-goal lead with goals from Rylan Brady at 1:52 of the period and Joey Delgreco at 9:17. Delgreco’s goal came on the power play during a string of three straight Amarillo penalties. Amarillo would respond quickly with a goal from Connor McNaughton at 11:34 of the period, and Patterson would tie the game at 12:53. The Wranglers had erased a two-goal deficit against the top-scoring team in the NAHL.

However, the skill level of the Warriros would take over the depleted Wranglers unit and score under a minute after Pattersons tying goal. Hunter Jones would give Oklahoma the lead again at 13:26. Owen Baumgartner would extend the lead at 16:49 of the game, which proved to be the night’s final goal.

Oklahoma would pick up their 41st win in a 6-to-4 dogfight with Amarillo. The Wranglers would surrender three powerplay goals in the outing. Amarillo is expected to have Ronan Walsh back in the lineup Saturday after serving a one-game suspension.