CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – Tyler Hall and Joey Molinaro each had two point games to lift the Amarillo Bulls past the Corpus Christi IceRays 3-2 on Sunday afternoon at American Bank Center. It was the Bulls third road win of the season and ninth overall. The Bulls raced out to a 3-0 lead midway through the 2nd period and had to hold off a late comeback bid by the hometown IceRays.
Hall scored the game’s first goal and set up the second, while Molinaro scored what proved to be game winning marker. Anton Martinsson was steady in goal, turning aside 33 of 35 shots he faced including some Grade A opportunities in the final minute of play.
It was an energy charged opening period for the Amarillo Bulls as they came out flying taking the play to the Corpus Christi Icerays. The offence got into the action when Tyler Hall’s wrist shot landed just under the cross bar to make it 1-0 at the 15:06 mark. George Mika and Joey Molinaro earned assists on the play. Just over two minutes later, IceRays forward Drake Lindsay was sent out of the game for kneeing giving the Bulls a five minute power play. It didn’t take long for the Bulls to strike as Tyler Hall’s shot was blocked and the rebound was put in by Mykyta Sheptytsky to make it 2-0. That was Sheptytsky’s first goal in the North American Hockey League. It was all Bulls in the first period as they outshot the IceRays 15-11.
Joey Molinaro extended the Bulls lead to 3-0 midway through the second period when his shot went off defenseman Trevor Heuser and into the net. George Mika got an assist on the play. But just over a minute later, the IceRays get on the board connecting on a power play chance in the high slot area. The Bulls and the IceRays each had 11 shots in the middle stanza.
The Bulls penalty killing got rolling in the third period and prevented the IceRays from scoring. A short time later, the IceRays pulled to within one capitalizing on a two-on-one break. Down the stretch the Bulls defense tightened up kept Corpus Christi from getting the third goal. Joey DiBenedetto block a shot in the final minute and goaltender Martinsson made a huge save at the goal line just as time expired.
Despite being out shot 13-11 in the third period, the Amarillo Bulls had the better of the Corpus Christi IceRays 38-35. Each team was able to score a power play goal in the contest.
Notes: Bulls missing Matt Nehls who was suspended for kneeing incident in the third period on Saturday night. Jacob Nitsche was also out of the line-up with an upper body injury.
The Amarillo Bulls begin a six game home stand against the Topeka RoadRunners on Friday, Feb. 5 and Saturday Feb. 6 at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. The face off for both games is set for 7 pm. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets including United Supermarkets. For further information on Group Rates or 10 game flex packs, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.Bu