Hawkins nets another as Tornado win in shootoutOctober 11, 2012 - North American Hockey League (NAHL) Texas Tornado
The second period was the only one in which the teams scored, but the first period saw Topeka outshoot the Tornado by a 9-6 margin. The Tornado are at their best when they play fast, but the RoadRunners did their best to try to prevent that. The nine saves Leisner made in the second period were some of his best and turned out to be important ones. Both teams had a power-play in the first period, but neither one scored and the teams were still scoreless after the first period.
A Tornado power-play in the second period led to the goal by Hawkins, and it gave the Tornado a 1-0 lead towards the middle stages of the period. Jackson Leef had possession of the puck in the left-wing circle before threading the needle with a cross-ice pass to Hawkins. The Macomb, Mich. native settled the puck and went top-shelf with the wrist shot to beat RoadRunners goaltender Mackenzie Sawyer for the first time, giving the Tornado a 1-0 lead.
Just about seven minutes later, the RoadRunners were on the man advantage, tying the score with a power-play goal of their own. Topeka broke into the Tornado zone on the rush. Kyle Sharkey fed Sean Gaffney with a pass to the left wing, then Gaffney returned the favor with a centering pass of his own towards the slot, Gaffney handled it and beat Leisner high, glove side, for Topeka's only goal of the game.
The third period and overtime were played without any scoring, which led to the shootout. The Tornado came into the game averaging over 34 shots on goal per game, but a tough Topeka team held them to just 25 shots. The Tornado only allowed, 22, however, as both teams opted for quality scoring chances over quantity. In the shootout, Michal Pastor and Conwayboth scored in the first round before both teams went scoreless in the next two. Gaffney was denied in the fourth round, and though McPherson's shot hit both posts, it stayed in for the goal. Sharkey was the final shooter for the RoadRunners, but missed the net to give the Tornado the victory.
Both teams are off on Friday, but will return to Dr Pepper Arena on Saturday night for a 7:30 p.m. game. It's Rally Towel Night at Dr Pepper Arena, so fans are encouraged to arrive as early as possible to ensure they get their 2012-2013 Special Edition Texas Tornado Rally Towel.
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