AMARILLO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls fired 50 shots on goal on Friday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center, but it wasn’t enough as the Corpus Christi IceRays squeaked out a 5-3 triumph to move two points ahead for the fourth and final playoff spot in the South Division.
It was the Bulls that dominated for the first 39 minutes of hockey with 35 shots on goal, and the IceRays found a way to climb back into the game with a late goal in the middle stanza and then a power play goal to take the lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Brendan Walkom, Luke Edgerton and Nestor Plarsmo netted markers, while Brandon Bussi took his first loss in goal in a Bulls uniform. Mason Krueger had a goal and an assist for Corpus Christi, while Griffin Loughran, Brad Power and Cole Filler and Nathan Bryer picked up the other goals. Tomas Vomacka turned aside 47 of 50 shots he faced, including several quality scoring chances in the final minute of play to preserve the win.
It was the Bulls that jumped all over the visitors in the opening period forcing them to stay inside their own zone. Brendan Walkom netted his third goal and his third first goal in as many games for Amarillo, from Eric Cooley. The Bulls outshot the IceRays 20-7 in the first stanza.
A bad line change and kind bounce off the boards led to Corpus Christi tying the game as Griffin Loughren scored off a rebound in front of the net. That goal snapped the shutout string of Brandon Bussi at just over 68 minutes. Less than a minute later, the Bulls took the lead as George Mika’s face of win propelled Nestor Plarsmo to the front of the net and his shot just nudged through the pads of Vomacka. The IceRays used their own face off win to tie the game in the final 92 seconds of the stanza as Mason Krueger scored on a shot that eluded goaltender Brandon Bussi. The Bulls outshot Corpus Christi 15-12 in the second period.
The power play gave Corpus Christi the lead early in the third period as forward Brad Power’s shot snuck through the blocker of goaltender Brandon Bussi. Seven minutes after that, the visitors capitalized again off a turnover as Cole Filler scored on a shot that went past the glove of the goaltender. The Bulls were not done as their power play finally came alive with a goal off the stick of Luke Edgerton from Steven Ipri and George Mika. Ipri did a great job to push the puck back to Edgerton in the high slot area and his shot made it cleanly past the goaltender. Down the stretch the Bulls worked hard looking for the equalizer and pulled their goaltender in the final minute. But Corpus Christi was able to get the puck across the blue line to center where Nathan Bryer scored into the empty net.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Corpus Christi IceRays 50-25. There were eight combined powerplays with each team scoring once.
Saturday is the 2nd annual Star Wars Night Night Presented By Yellow City Comic Con. There will be booths on the concourse, Star Wars Costume Contest, Wookie Call and a chance to meet Felix Silla. The Bulls are wearing special Stars Wars Jerseys with a live auction to take place immediately after the game with proceeds to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network. Tickets start at just $13 and available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk and open from 10 am to 4 pm, as well as the Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket locations including United Supermarkets. For further information or to order tickets please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122 or visit www.panhandletickets.com or www.amarillobulls.com.