There are considered to be the “Stars of the Future.” You can find this year’s version at Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco.
The Texas Tornado, an affiliate of the North American Hockey League, are skating under the radar so to speak. Their aggressive style of play has led them to a 19-7-5 record this season, good enough for first in their division. And they have a flare for the dramatic, as evident in their 4-3 win over Corpus Christi.
The Tornado used their speed and quickness to answer the call whenever the Rays rang. Down 2-0 after the first period, Texas answered back in the 2nd after a powerplay goal by Marc Biggs and the game-tying goal by Jackson Leef just over 3 minutes later. The Rays would take the lead in the 3rd, but Leef tied things up at 3 with a shot that glanced off the goalie’s glove and slid into the basket. Texas was able to ice the game with a minute left in the 3rd after David Rigatti’s shorthanded goal. The Tornado won the shots on goal battle 36-20, with Leef finishing with 2 goals and 3 total points.
Aside from the teddy bear toss after the Tornado’s first goal, Tony Curtale’s team is no doubt quick and exciting. Forward Robert Einersen leads the team with 18 goals and 35 points, followed by Leef’s 14 goals and 30 points. The switch to Jimmy Kruger at goalie appears to be working; he only gave up one goal after being called on in the 2nd period.
The Tornado organization isn’t new to success. They were the NAHL champions in 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2006 and Gold Cup champions in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
From the looks of it, this year’s squad is prepped to make even more dramatic finishes the rest of the season and add to the Tornado history.
Written by C. James