NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – For the second straight night a close game slipped right through the fingers of the Amarillo Bulls.
Lone Star Brahmas defenseman Ryan Orgel notched the game winning goal in the final 90 seconds of regulation time to beat the Bulls 3-2 on Saturday night at NYTEX Sports Center in North Richland Hills. It was a similar story to Friday night as the Bulls had the game tied and the momentum late in the game against the defending Robertson Cup Champions. Defenseman Orgel was left uncovered and he was able to wire a shot past goaltender Jason Grande.
It was a slow start to the game for the Bulls as the Brahmas came out fast and had the visitors hemmed inside their own zone. Amarillo ended their scoreless drought thanks to some hard work by the power play unit. Simon Morberg ripped a heavy wrist shot past the blocker of Mitchell Gibson to the Bulls on the board. The play was set up by some great work of defenseman Marcus Chorney and Nikita Sokolov who earned assists on the play. The Bulls were outshot 9-5 in the first period.
That lead by the visitors held up until the 3:33 mark of the second period when Connor Stuart raced up from his defensive position and launched a puck past goaltender Grande.
Special teams have been a strong point for the Amarillo Bulls over the past seven games not allowing a power play goal in 18 periods of play (28 for their last 31). The Bulls picked up their first shorthanded goal of the season as forwards Alex Peterson and Stephen Rex led a 2-on-1 break up the ice and Rex jammed the puck past goaltender Gibson. That was the third shorthanded goal of the season allowed by the Brahmas.
The lead was short-lived as a minute later the Brahmas ended Amarillo’s string of not surrendering a power play goal. Ryan Orgel’s first shot was blocked by Bulls’ Captain Alex Truscott but his second attempt, a one timer, made it through to tie the game. Lone Star outshot Amarillo 10-6 in the second period.
It was a wild and hotly contested third period with both teams having numerous chances to score. The Bulls also started to wear down the Brahmas and clearly had the momentum on their side with 11 shots on goal.
With the game destined for overtime, the Brahmas moved quickly up the ice and defenseman Ryan Orgel was left in the clear and his shot found the back of the net. Head Coach Rocky Russo pulled the goaltender in the final minute looking to net the equalizer, but unable to solve Gibson.
The Lone Star Brahmas outshot the Amarillo Bulls 26-22.
It’s back to the road on Tuesday for the Amarillo Bulls when they visit the Odessa Jackalopes at Ector County Coliseum in the second installment of the New Avenues Free Way Belt Series. Fans can tune into the game live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, online at www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV with Hockey TV beginning with The Warm Up Show at 6:40 pm. Denis J. Puska has the hard hitting action at 7 pm.
Hockey is back after the Rodeo at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center next Friday and Saturday when the Topeka RoadRunners make their first trip to the Texas Panhandle to face the Amarillo Bulls at 7 pm. Next Friday it’s the Family Four Pack for $44 (Four Tickets, four hotdogs and four sodas) and the Bring A Bud Pack for $22 (two tickets, two hotdogs and two sodas). For other ticket options including Groups, Preferred Rate, Flex Packs and Season Tickets, call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122. Fans can also drop by the Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket locations.