BULLS BEATEN BY JACKALOPES 7-3
ODESSA, TX – The Amarillo Bulls couldn’t stop the Odessa Jackalopes from their date with the Robertson Cup Playoffs on Friday night at Ector County Coliseum.
The Bulls surrendered six goals over the final 40 minutes including three on the power play and dropped a 7-3 decision to the Jackalopes. Amarillo wasn’t able follow up a terrific effort from last Saturday night where they beat Topeka 3-2 in overtime.
With the victory, and a loss by the Corpus Christi IceRays, the Odessa Jackalopes claimed the fourth and final playoff spot in the South Division and will play the Wichita Falls Wildcats starting next weekend. It’s the 2nd playoff appearance for the Jackalopes who were beaten by the Bulls in the 2011-12 post season with Connor Hellebuyck in goal.
Nick Santoro scored twice for the Bulls, while Liam Ferguson had the other. For Santoro it was his fifth and sixth goals in his last 11 games.
It was a torrid start to the game for the Amarillo Bulls as they had seven of the first nine shots of the game. Joey Molinaro and George Mika with the best chances but they were turned away at the side of the net by Dean Shatzer. The Jackalopes got rolling later in the period and were able to collect 16 shots, including one that found its way through Brian Baker. The Bulls failed the clear the puck out of their own zone and a shot from the point beat the goaltender through the arm on the short side.
A wild second period featured a total of five goals between the two teams. The Jackalopes broke open a close game with two goals less than four minutes apart, capitalizing on two odd-man rushes. Nick Santoro continued his hot play scoring his fifth goal in the last 11 games from Jeff Solow and Tyler Gernhofer. It was the hard work of Solow and Gernhofer that got the puck out of the defensive zone and sent Santoro in on the breakaway. Thirty seconds later, the Jackalopes were able to add to their lead with a power play goal on a tip in front of the net. In the final minute of the stanza, the Bulls truck again this time they used a face-off win in the offensive zone. Liam Ferguson’s shot beat goaltender Dean Shatzer on the short side. Matt Nehls earned an assist on the play. On the ensuing face-off the Bulls came close to closing the gap to within a goal but Charlie Singerhouse was denied by Shatzer and the Jacks defense. The Bulls outshot Odessa 14-10 in the second period.
It was all Odessa in the third period scoring three times with two coming on the power play and another shorthanded. Nick Santoro notched his second of the game early in the third period when he redirected a shot by Matt Nehls into the net. Odessa rounded out the scoring with its 11th shorthanded goal of the season which ranks the club among the leaders in that category in the North American Hockey League.
The Odessa Jackalopes outshot the Amarillo Bulls 22-9 in the third period and 48-33 overall. Many of the Jackalopes opportunities came from their five power play chances. The Bulls had four power plays, but only able to score once.
There is one final game left in the regular season for both the Amarillo Bulls and the Odessa Jackalopes and it is set for tomorrow (Saturday) night at Ector County Coliseum. Fans can tune into action on CBS Sports Radio 1440, online at www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV with Fast Hockey, beginning with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 6:40 pm. Amarillo Bulls Hockey with Denis J. Puska follows at 6 pm.
Don’t forget 2016-17 Season Tickets are on sale now for the Amarillo Bulls. It’s a great opportunity to choose from a variety of ticket plans, seat availability and payment plans. For further information please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122 or visit 301 South Polk in the Amarillo Building.