AMARILLO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls special teams paced the club to an early lead on New Year’s Eve at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center, but it wasn’t enough in a 6-3 loss to the Odessa Jackalopes.
The two teams were playing their third game in three nights with travel with missing players due to injuries and tired foot soldiers who had to play extra shifts. The Bulls delighted the crowd of more than 2,600 with strong play and a 3-0 but the visiting Jackalopes chipped away at the deficit with three straight goals over the course of the second period and then the game winner midway through the third.
Amarillo remains three back of the Corpus Christi IceRays for the fourth and final playoff spot in the South Division. The Bulls and Jackalopes are not done with one another yet as they will battle next weekend back in the Texas Panhandle.
It didn’t take long for the Bulls to get into the offense as Charlie Singerhouse scored his eighth of the year when he beat goaltender Jon Flakne with a high shot on the power play. George Mika and Brendan Walkom earned assists on the play. Eight minutes later the Bulls struck again as newcomer Nestor Plarsmo scored his first NAHL goal on a play at the side of the net from Steen Ipri and Brendon Michaelian. Each team had 14 shots on goal in the first period.
Steven Ipri gave the Bulls a quick 3-0 lead to start the middle stanza when he deflected home a shot from Phil Fromberger from the point. Forty-Four seconds later, Odessa mounted its comeback charge with a goal from Zach Zech. A short time after that Levi Wunder scored and it was just a one goal Bulls lead. The visitors tied the game with just over 12 minutes on a blast from the point by Jake Levin. Odessa outshot Amarillo 11-10 in the second period.
The game went back and forth in the early moments of the final period with the Bulls attacking looking to regain the lead. However, goaltender Flakne made some key saves and his defense did a better job of clearing the puck of the zone. Zach Zech notched his second of the game which proved to be the game winner when Odessa scored on an odd-man rush. Chris Donaldson and Connor Woods added insurance in the final two minutes.
The Odessa Jackalopes outshot the Amarillo Bulls 42-37. The hometown Bulls finished 3 for 3 on the power play while the Jackalopes couldn’t score on four attempts.
It’s a trio of home hockey for the Amarillo Bulls next weekend with two against the Jackalopes on Friday and Saturday. It’s the return of $5 Friday Silver Section Tickets, while Saturday is sponsored by The People’s Federal Credit Union with T-shirts for the first 500 fans at the door. Sunday the Bulls will host the Shreveport Mudbugs at 7 pm. It’s Buy One Ticket at a regular price and Get One Free.
Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk or by calling 242-1122. Fans can also pick up tickets at the Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Locations including United Supermarkets.