Mar 16, 2024

A milestone night for Alex German and a dominant second period weren’t enough to get the Grit back in the win column, dropping an 8-4 decision to the visiting Wranglers on Saturday afternoon at the Greeley Ice Haus.

Wrangler defenseman Nolan Gagnon got the scoring started, thanks to a coast-to-coast attack that culminated in a powerful wrist shot past Grit goaltender Jack Erickson, to give Amarillo the 1-0 lead with just 2:27 gone in the first period. A tic-tac-toe passing play found the trailing Jacob Miller on the left wing just 41 seconds later, who fired the puck into the back of the net to give the Wranglers a 2-0 advantage. Colorado’s response was immediate through defenseman Alex German. German accelerated out of his own zone, sped by three Amarillo players, and potted his fifth goal of the year past Amarillo goaltender Andrew Peterson, to make it 2-1 with 14:55 left in the first period. The Wranglers tacked on two goals later in the period, thanks to Connor McNaughton and Jack McDonald, and glided into the first intermission with a 4-1 advantage over the home side.

At the start of the second period, Colorado again began to climb the comeback mountain. German grabbed his second tally of the afternoon, along with his first multi-goal game of his career, by snapping a shot past Peterson from the low slot to make the score 4-2 with 19:05 left in the second period. Despite outshooting the Wranglers 14-3 in the middle frame, the Grit were unable to gain any ground at the end of forty minutes. Luke Morris squeezed a shot between Erickson and the left wing post to restore a three-goal lead for the visitors, 5-2, with 10:37 to go in the second period.

The third period brought another Grit push back into the proceedings. With 16:45 to play in the third, forward George Poirier barreled down the right wing and powered a shot off the right pad of Peterson; the rebound kicked right to Noah Grolnic who gladly pushed the biscuit into the basket to make the scoreline 5-3. Barely two minutes later, the Wranglers responded through Grayson Gerhard to once again stretch the lead back to three, 6-3, with 14:32 to play. Grolnic wasn’t done scoring, however, lifting a screened wrist shot from the right wing faceoff circle and pulling the Grit back within two, 6-4, with 7:57 left. Two late goals from Henry McRoberts and Jack Ivey would stall the comeback effort for the Grit, swelling Amarillo’s lead to 8-4 as the final buzzer sounded.