WICHITA FALLS, TX – After some success early on in the season, special teams were the Achilles heel of the Amarillo Bulls on Friday night at Kay Yeager Coliseum. One too many penalties in the second period allowed the Wichita Falls Wildcats to eventually capitalize with a power play goal in the final two minutes of play and hold off the Bulls 3-2 in a tight checking affair.
Steven Ipri and Captain Matt Nehls notched goals for the Bulls, while Nikita Babintsev was tagged with the loss in goal. The Bulls wrap up their weekend road trip with a game versus the Lone Brahmas on Saturday night at 7:30 pm.
Amarillo dropped into a tie for 2nd place with the Lone Star Brahmas. The Wichita Falls Wildcats took over sole possession of top spot in the South with the victory.
The two teams traded goals nine seconds apart in the opening period. Ricky Carballo finished off a 2-on-1 break to give the home side a 1-0 lead. After the face-off, the Bulls regrouped and raced down the ice with Steve Ipri firing a shot past goaltender Evan Moyse. That goal was set up by Quinn Warmuth and was Irpi’s third of the season, and second against the Wildcats. Amarillo outshot Wichita Falls 12-10 in the first period.
It was the Bulls that had the better of the scoring chances in the first half of the middle stanza but couldn’t finish them off on goaltender Moyse. The Wildcats took a 2-1 lead when Roman Kinal scored on a screen shot. Three minutes later the Bulls tied the game on some good work in the offensive zone that was finished off by defenseman Matt Nehls who’s big shot found the back of the net. Forward Cole Lussier picked up an assist on the play. The Wildcats regained the one-goal advantage with the eventual game winning goal as Alexi Poikola scored off a rebound with 1:05 left in the period. The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Wichita Falls Wildcats 14-9 in the second period.
The third period featured feverous action at both ends of the rink but neither team was able to find the back of the net. The Bulls best chances were by Kosta Likourezos and Eric Cooley. The Bulls pulled their goaltender in the final minute looking to get the equalizer but were unable to score.
Saturday’s game featuring the Amarillo Bulls and the Lone Star Brahmas is set for 7:30 pm at NYTEX Sports Center. Fans can tune into the action live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, online at www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV with Fast Hockey beginning with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 7:10 pm. The puck drop follows at 7:30 pm with Denis J. Puska.
Hockey is back at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center next Friday, Saturday and Sunday when the Amarillo Bulls host the Lone Star Brahmas all at 7 pm. Friday is Plains Dairy Milk For A Year and Saturday is sponsored by Suddenlink. Sunday the Amarillo Bulls are proud to welcome the Dallas Stars Girls. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets including United Supermarkets or online at www.panhandletickets.com. For further information on Group Rates, Season Tickets or Corporate Marketing Partnerships, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.