ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Drew Sutton scored a hat trick and the Oklahoma Warriors closed multiple multi-goal deficits but the New Mexico Ice Wolves added two empty-net goals in the final minute of play to take a 7-4 final over the visitors at the Outpost Ice Arenas Friday.
After scoring two goals in the first period, New Mexico jumped out to a 4-0 lead with just over five minutes remaining in the second period. The Warriors would begin their comeback attempt at 17:50 of the middle frame when William Ahlrik tipped in a Garrett Horsager point shot on the powerplay. Off the ensuing draw at center ice, Therien Thiesing, who was playing in his 100th regular season game, floated the puck down ice toward the New Mexico net, causing mayhem for the home team. New Mexico’s goaltender came out to take the puck as his defenseman was falling down, and a fortunate bounce for the Warriors allowed Sutton to score into a yawning cage eight seconds after the Ahlrik goal. With just the eight seconds between them, the first and second goals of the night were the fastest two goals scored in Oklahoma/ Wichita Falls history. Oklahoma would continue to push and carry momentum into the second intermission, still down 4-2 but outshooting New Mexico 22-21.
The Warriors would cut their deficit to one goal early in the third period before a New Mexico pushback. Cole Teleki got the puck at his point off an offensive zone draw and skated it behind the net before feeding it out front. Sutton was waiting in the slot and slung in his second of the game with 17:41 remaining in the third. New Mexico answered six minutes later to retake its two-goal lead 5-3. Faceoff success would once again help the Warriors offence as Sutton won a draw back to Thiesing at the point, who fired it back for a Sutton tip-in, making it 5-4 game with 5:01 left in the third. Oklahoma would get an extra attacker out down the stretch, but two empty-net goals sealed the game with a 7-4 final.
The Warriors will have a quick turnaround before their next game, Wednesday, December 14, at Blazers Ice Centre. The 6:30 p.m. puck drop against the Lone Star Brahmas will be the team’s final home game of 2022, and fans are encouraged to participate in both an ugly sweater contest, and teddy bear toss. Fans who bring a teddy bear donation to throw onto the ice after the Warriors’ first goal will receive $3 off admission. Donations benefit SSM Health St. Anthony Behavioral Health in Oklahoma City.
THIS POST HAS BEEN EDITED TO REFLECT OFFICIAL SCORING CHANGES.