NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – The Amarillo Bulls nearly missed on an opportunity to cash in on an important game in hand on Friday night.
The Bulls collected just a single point to extend their South Division lead to two points in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Lone Star Brahmas at NYTEX Center. It was the Brahmas fourth win over the Bulls this season and third on home ice.
Brady Ferguson and Joe Grabowski scored for the Bulls which had a 2-1 lead slip away in the dying seconds of regulation. The Brahmas were penned in deep inside their own end when Kellen Wasell scored on a breakaway with just three seconds remaining in regulation time. In overtime the Brahmas scored on their first two attempts on Collin Delia who replaced Paul Berrafato.
It was the start of four games in five nights for the Bulls with a second game against the Brahmas tomorrow night. The Bulls close out the road trip with two against the Topeka RoadRunners on Monday and Tuesday night in Kansas.
The Amarillo Bulls controlled the first 15 minutes of the stanza firing eight shots on goal and not letting the Brahmas to get any shots at all. Two power play opportunities were unsuccessful. The Brahmas were able to get rolling in the final five minutes of the stanza with all eight shots coming on the power play. Tyler Gernhofer had the Bulls best chance in the final 10 seconds when his breakaway attempt was stopped by TJ Black.
The second period featured three goals with the Bulls opening the scoring just two minutes in. Brady Ferguson pushed the puck across the goal line that goaltender TJ Black couldn’t cover up. Mike Davis began the play with a terrific rush up the ice. Less than a minute later, the Brahmas tied the game on a high shot from the face-off circle. Late in the period, Joe Grabowski gave the Bulls a 2-1 advantage when his high slap shot was miss-handed by goaltender TJ Black. Matt Sieckhaus and Tyler Gernhofer earned assists on the play.
The ice was tilted in the first 40 minutes with the Bulls having the better of the play. Many of the Brahmas shots on goal came via special teams.
The Bulls controlled much of the play in the third period, limiting the Brahmas to just three shots on goal. There was tremendous pressure by Amarillo inside the Lone Star zone, but goaltender Black was able to prevent the Bulls from extending their lead.
In the final minute the Brahmas were able to get their goaltender to the bench for an extra attacker, but couldn’t materialize much offense. Nick Blase fired a long pass that found Kellen Wasell open and he was able to put the puck past Paul Berrafato.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Lone Star Brahmas 40-20 including 12-5 over the final 25 minutes plus overtime. There were seven total power plays in the game with neither team being able to score.
The Battle of the Cattle Season Series concludes tomorrow (Saturday) night when the Bulls visit the Lone Star Brahmas at 7:30 pm at NYTEX Center. Fans can tune into the game live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV courtesy of Fast Hockey beginning with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 7:15 pm. Denis J. Puska has the exciting action to follow.
Hockey is back at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center next Friday, Mar. 21 and Saturday, Mar. 22 when the Bulls host the Wichita Falls Wildcats at 7 pm. Saturday is Jersey Off Our Back Night and the post game awards ceremony. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets. For further information on Group Rates, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.