Tonight the Ice Wolves faced the Amarillo Bulls for the first game of the 3-in-3 series this weekend in Amarillo, TX. It also marked the first-of-six straight between these two teams, with the final game being played on New Year’s Eve at the Budweiser Bull Pen. The season series is split between these teams, 1-1. New Mexico won the first game after Josh Graziano recorded a career high in saves (50) and Griffen Sanom scored the only goal in the game during the fourth round of the shootout. The following night Amarillo shutout New Mexico, 4-0.
Just six days ago the Ice Wolves fell to the Shreveport Mudbugs, 8-2. Five of their goals came in the first period. With that in mind the Ice Wolves looked like a completely different team, one that has the caliber to play with the best teams in the league. The play was fast on both ends of the ice as both teams had their fair share of scoring chances. Ultimately though neither team was able to score giving us a 0-0 game heading into the middle frame. Amarillo led in shots after the first period, 18-11.
In the second period neither team was able to crack the score sheet until there was just 32 seconds left on the clock. On their first man-advantage of the evening, Noah Carlin (6) took a shot from the point and the puck found its way through traffic and past Henrik Laursen. That was one of their 14 shots during the middle frame. The Ice Wolves put up 12 shots on the fourth-best goalie in the league, Charlie Glockner.
During the final period of regulation the Bulls started to apply more pressure on Laursen, but he kept making save after save. He was a big reason as to why the game was within reach for the Ice Wolves late in the third. However with the Ice Wolves down by one and time winding down they pulled Laursen from the net to add the extra attacker. While they did not allow an empty-net goal they were unfortunately held off the score sheet for the eighth time this season. Amarillo finished with 43 shots whereas New Mexico recorded 30. Glockner recorded his fifth shutout on the season, tying Ludvig Persson of Lone Star for the most in the league.
The Ice Wolves are still in search of their first regulation goal against Amarillo, the only team they have yet to do so against. It was just the second time this season that Amarillo won a game by a final of, 1-0 (Oct. 19 vs. LOS). New Mexico went 0/4 while on the power play and Amarillo went 1/2. Tomorrow the puck is scheduled to drop at 7:05 p.m. CST. You can watch the game on HockeyTV or for free at the Outpost Ice Arenas.