AMARILLO, TX – Golden Opportunities….
The Amarillo Bulls squandered several, including three on the power play and dropped a 4-2 decision to the Wichita Falls Wildcats on Saturday night in front of a crowd of over 3,300 at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. Despite the loss, the Bulls remain tied for 5th in the South Division with the Corpus Christi IceRays which had the night off.
The game was tied heading into the third period when the Bulls had not only the continuation of a four-minute power play, but two others but failed to score. The Bulls finished the night 0-6 in that department. The Wildcats used the momentum gained from the penalty killing to score the go ahead goal with 5:28 remaining in the third period.
It was Military Appreciation Night Presented by Vista College that featured plenty of ceremonies, including the swearing in of new cadets, the Gold Star honorees and the dedication/renaming of the 335 loop in Amarillo. Prior to the game, the Bulls had a special visitor as Sgt. Houston Gass dropped by the locker room. Sgt. Gass, who was injured in the line of duty in Pampa, TX, had chatted with the Bulls last season during a night in his honor.
All of the pageantry and special events fired up the Amarillo Bulls and they were able to score the game’s first goal. Charlie Singerhouse walked in over the blue line and his shot hand-cuffed goaltender Julian Sime. Brady Crabtree and Liam Ferguson earned assists on the play.
It was an exciting opening 20 minutes that the Amarillo Bulls controlled early with good puck possession inside the Wildcats’ zone, but were unable to push any more past goaltender Sime. The Wildcats outshot the Bulls 12-11 in the first period.
The second period saw the visitors’ offence start to find its mark. The Wildcats tied the game just past the two minute mark converting a scramble in front of the net. Six minutes later, Wichita Falls took the lead thanks to a three-on-one break up the ice. Goaltender Martinsson couldn’t stop the shot from the far side.
However, the Bulls regained the momentum with some steady play in the final five minutes. Johan Lundgren tied the game when he roofed a puck past Sime. Several shots were blocked in front and denied by the goaltender before Lundgren was able to find the net. George Mika and Joey Molinaro assisted on the play. The Wildcats outshot the Bulls 21-12.
In the third period it was the Bulls that were given the most opportunities as a Wildcats’ player was serving a four minute minor penalty. Amarillo was unable to score on that sequence or the next two chances on the man advantage. Wichita Falls scored what proved to be the game winning goal by keeping the puck inside the Bulls’ end and then scoring on a high wrist shot. Amarillo pulled its goaltender in the final few moments hoping to cash in and tie the game, but instead gave up an empty net marker that would round out the scoring.
The Wichita Falls Wildcats outshot the Amarillo Bulls 43-29 including 10-6 in the third period.
It’s back to the road for the Bulls as they will battle the Lone Star Brahmas next Friday and Saturday at NYTEX Sports Center in North Richland Hills. Both games face-off at 7:30 pm.
Hockey is back at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Saturday, Nov. 21 when the Bulls host the Wichita Falls Wildcats at 7pm. On Sunday, Nov. 22 the Bulls host the rival Odessa Jackalopes also at 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 or online at www.panhandletickets.com. For further information on Group Rates, Full, Half Season Tickets or 10 Game Flex Packs, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.