AMARILLO, Texas – The Oklahoma Warriors earned their fifth straight win Thursday as Owen Baumgartner’s two-point outing helped the team secure a 3-1 win over the Amarillo Wranglers at the Budweiser Bull Pen.
Amarillo would capitalize on a 2-on-1 opportunity and go up 1-0 just one minute and 52 seconds into the game, but Oklahoma would soon respond. Rylan Brady and Hunter Jones worked to force a turnover deep in the offensive zone, and eventually the puck wound up in Brady’s possession. Brady then sent it to the slot where William Lawson-Body found a lapse in coverage and sent a one-timer into the top corner for the Warriors’ answer exactly five minutes after falling down 1-0. After the halfway point in the period, Baumgartner gave the puck to Malte Hasselgren in the defensive zone for what seemed like a harmless breakout. Hasselgren would turn on the jets along the near-side wall through neutral and split two Wranglers just inside the zone before crossing through the high slot and slinging in the eventual game-winning goal at 12:16 of the first period.
The second period wouldn’t see any lamps lit, but not for lack of opportunities. Goaltender Daniel Duris and Oklahoma’s penalty kill extinguished 1:10 of an Amarillo 5-on-3 near the halfway point of the game and the Warriors took a 25-20 shot advantage, and their 2-1 lead, into the intermission.
Oklahoma added an insurance goal to the total early in the third, making it a 3-1 game four minutes and 19 seconds in. Hasselgren dropped a pass for Owen Dyer, who lobbed a point shot on net from the near side. A huge rebound came to the far point for Baumgartner to blast home for the third Warriors goal. The Wranglers pressed down the stretch and had an extra attacker out for the final 1:58, but Duris and the Warriors held on to win their fifth straight game. Final shot totals favored the Wranglers 32-30.
Baumgartner’s two-point game Thursday was his sixth of the season, and his second in two games. The Owatonna, Minnesota, native now has three goals and 10 assists in 10 games played this season. Between the pipes, Duris improved his record to 6-0 on the season and improved his stats to a .936 SV% and 1.66 GAA.
The Warriors and Wranglers will play a rematch of Thursday’s matinee Friday, when the two teams meet for a 7:15 p.m. puck drop at the Budweiser Bull Pen.