SATURDAY – Colorado 4, AMARILLO 2

Apr 6, 2024

The Grit bagged two power play goals, got a 35-save night from Jack Erickson, took the lead just over two minutes in and finished off a wire-to-wire 4-2 win over Amarillo on Saturday night. 
 
The power play keyed another strong start and got the Grit into the scoring column just over two minutes into the first period. Defenseman Bowen Burke fired a cross-ice pass to the edge of the crease; winger George Poirier deflected the puck underneath Amarillo goaltender Connor McDonough to spot the Grit to the lead, 1-0, just 3:28 into the first period.
 
Colorado’s power play doubled the lead, thanks to a friendly bounce from the arena boards. Chris Graves dumped the puck into the Wrangler zone to head off for line change. The puck ricocheted off a stanchion and sped towards the net, beating a stunned Connor McDonough to double the lead, 2-0, with 10:18 left in the first period. The fourth line connected for the Grit’s third tally with under three minutes to play. Wilder Jacober fed a pass from the left corner to the front of the netband Quinn Bowden tipped the puck past McDonough for a 3-0 Grit advantage. Colorado netminder Jack Erickson delivered 14 of his 35 saves to secure the Grit lead after twenty minutes.
 
The home side found the scoresheet for the first time midway through the second period. Rookie defenseman T.J. Richey sent a wrist shot from the left point that found its way past three bodies and Erickson with 6:40 to play in the second period to pull the Wranglers within two, 3-1.
 
Colorado weathered a flurry of opportunities in the middle frame and regained their three-goal lead right before the second intermission. Noah Grolnic bagged his twelfth goal with the Grit on a snapshot from the right wing faceoff circle and beat McDonough and provided insurance, 4-1, with 1:28 left in the period.
 
Amarillo pulled back within a pair early in the third period. Roman Zap found space in the high slot and lobbed a wrist shot past Erickson’s right pad to bring the Wranglers back into the game, 4-2 with 13:26 left to play. 
 
The Grit penalty kill continued its run of fine form late in the third period to secure the win. Defenseman Will Hadrick III took umbrage when Amarillo forward Jack McDonald hacked at the legs of a Grit forward and the pair squared off and exchanged blows. Hadrick III was given a major and match penalty after the dust up to give Amarillo a power play with 2:28 remaining.
 
Colorado’s penalty kill finished a perfect 3-for-3 and salted away the final seconds to help Colorado secure the victory.
 
GAME SUMMARY
 
Scoring 
1st Period – COL – Poirier (Burke, Grolnic) – 3:48
1st Period – COL – Graves – 9:22
1st Period – COL – Bowden (Jacober) – 17:25
2nd Period – AMA – Richey (Zap) – 13:20
2nd Period – COL – Grolnic – 18:32
3rd Period – AMA – Zap (Puikkonen, McNaughton) – 6:34
 
Shots:
COL: 29 AMA: 37
 
Special Teams:
PP – COL: 2/4 AMA: 0/3
PK – COL: 3/3 AMA: 2/4
 
Notable Performances
J. Erickson (COL) – 35 svs
Q. Bowden (COL) – 1 G, GWG
N.Grolnic (COL) – 1 G, 1 A