AMARILLO, TX – Two nine-game streaks came to an end on Saturday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
The Amarillo Bulls ended a nine game winless streak and a nine game losing streak against the Lone Star Brahmas that dated back to last season winning 2-1 in a thrilling game. The Bulls hadn’t won a game since early November when they beat the first place Wichita Falls Wildcats. Amarillo also stopped a drought against Lone Star that dated back to December 20th of last year. The loss by the Brahmas was their second in a row and for the second game in a row limited to just one goal.
It was Jacob Nitsche, Anton Martinsson and the Bulls special teams that were the difference in the game. Nitsche scored the game winning goal of a deflection on the power play early in the second period while Martinsson stopped 44 of 45 shots he faced. The Bulls penalty killing has been on fire the last five games, killing off six straight penalties and only yielding a goal in their last 19 times short handed.
The two teams traded goals 14 seconds apart to start the game. Michael Forman deflected home a clear by the Brahmas defenseman out of his own zone. The puck hit Forman and went in behind goaltender Corbin Kaczperski. Lone Star tied the game off the ensuing face-off when the Bulls couldn’t clear the puck out of their own end. The Bulls killed off four penalties in the first period including a four minute minor. Lone Star outshot Amarillo 21-3.
The second period was a better one for Matt Nicholson’s charges as they came out strong against Lone Star. Forward Joey Molinaro nearly gave the Bulls the lead when he stole the puck from a bad Brahmas clear, but his shot was easily turned aside by the goaltender. The power play gave Amarillo its lead when Jacob Nitsche deflected home a shot from Tyler Hall and Jake Houston. Amarillo outshot Lone Star 11-9 in the stanza.
The Brahmas thought they had tied the game in the third period when a shot from Carson Kelly went off the inside of the post and stay out. After that, the Bulls defense took over and worked hard. The Brahmas pulled their goaltender late in the game, but were unsuccessful in securing the equalizer.
Lone Star outshot Amarillo 45-19 including 15-5 in the third period. The Bulls were 1 for 2 on the power play, while the Brahmas were 0 for 6.
An important four-game stretch before the Christmas break starts for the Amarillo Bulls next weekend when they visit the Corpus Christi IceRays. The games are set for Friday and Saturday at 7 pm at American Bank Center. Fans can listen to the action live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, online at www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV with Fast Hockey. The coverage gets underway with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 6:40 pm.
Hockey is back at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Friday, Dec. 18 and Saturday, Dec. 19 when the Bulls host the same Corpus Christi IceRays at 7 pm. Friday is a visit by Santa Claus, while Saturday is the annual Toys For Tots Teddy Bear Toss. Fans are encouraged to bring a new or gently used Teddy Bear or Stuffed Animal to the game and when Bulls score their first goal, throw the toys onto the ice in support of the great cause. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, or by calling 242-1122. Fans can also drop by to get tickets at the Civic Center Box Office and United Supermarkets.