NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – The Amarillo Bulls penalty killing had been working at a high efficiency the past four games but ran into some difficulty in the third period on Saturday night at NYTEX Center in North Richland Hills, TX.
The Bulls surrendered two third period power play goals and dropped a 3-1 decision to the hottest team in the North American Hockey League the Lone Star Brahmas. It was the Brahmas ninth win in a row and kept them in third place in the South Division.
A late third period rally by Amarillo nearly worked out as trailing 2-0 Joey DiBenedetto tipped home a pass from Riley Christensen and Jesper Synellius to cut the lead in half in the final 90 seconds of regulation. The Bulls were frantically killing off a five minute major at the time and worked the puck down to the Brahmas zone and pulled their goaltender to even the odds up. On the ensuing face-off the Bulls again kept pushing but the Brahmas fired the puck into the empty net to secure the win.
Jacob Weatherly, who played well in the game, stopped 24 of 27 shots he faced.
It was a solid opening period for the Amarillo Bulls as they kept the Lone Star Brahmas pretty contained and didn’t allow them quality scoring chances. The Bulls applied pressure inside the Brahmas zone and were able to get shots through to goaltender Jake Kupsky. The Bulls outshot the Brahmas in a scoreless opening period 7-6.
The second period was spent on special teams by both teams. Goaltender Jacob Weatherly made a couple of sparkling saves one on a partial breakaway and another at the side of the net. The Bulls were also busy at the other end JJ Huerena with a great chance that was stopped by Kupsky. The Brahmas outshot the Bulls 10-5.
The Brahmas power play which had been shut down by Amarillo on Friday night scored on a one-timer to open the scoring five minutes into the third period. Four minutes after that Lone Star’s special teams went work again and made it 2-0. The Bulls penalty killing regained momentum and used it to score their lone goal by Joey DiBenedetto from Riley Christensen and Jesper Synellius. It was the first shorthanded goal allowed by the Brahmas this season. The frantic play by the Bulls in the final minute didn’t produce the results they were looking for and it was the Brahmas who closed the door with an empty net goal.
The Lone Star Brahmas outshot the Amarillo Bulls 27-18 including 11-6 in the third period. The Bulls were 0 for 6, while the Brahmas were 2 for 8.
For the third time in six days the Lone Star Brahmas will entertain the Amarillo Bulls on Wednesday at 7 pm at NYTEX Center. Fans can tune into the action live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, online at www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV courtesy of Fast Hockey, beginning with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 6:40 pm.
The Amarillo Bulls return to home ice on Friday, Dec. 19 and Saturday, Dec. 20 when they host the same Lone Star Brahmas at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center at 7 pm. Saturday is the Toys For Tots Teddy Bear Toss Presented By Walmart. Fans are encouraged to bring a new or gently used Teddy Bear or Stuffed Animal to the game and when the Bulls score their first goal, throw the toys onto the ice.
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 or the Christmas Package, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.