BULLS FALL TO ICERAYS IN TIGHT 3-2 GAME
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX — In a game dominated by special teams, it was the lone even strength goal that decided the outcome on Saturday night here at American Bank Center.
The Amarillo Bulls surrendered a late third period goal and dropped a 3-2 decision to the Corpus Christi IceRays. It was the 17th one goal game for the Bulls this season and ninth loss. George Mika and Joey Molinaro tallied for the Bulls while Anton Martinsson stopped 26 of 29 shots he faced.
There were 10 power plays combined during the game with the IceRays having seven chances including one for five minutes.
The game started 45 minutes later than previously scheduled due to the lateness in the converting American Bank Center from basketball to hockey.
Special teams dominated the first period of play as there were a combined five power plays. The Bulls struck first when George Mika redirected a pass from Jake Houston and stuck it behind goaltender Dryden McKay at the 5:22 mark. Just over six minutes later, the IceRays pulled even with a power play goal of their own when a shot went over the shoulder of goaltender Martinsson. The IceRays outshot the Amarillo Bulls 11-6 in the first period.
The second saw less penalties and more action at both ends of the rink. The Bulls carried the play early on as George Mika and Zach Sarnowski had their opportunities stopped by goaltender Dryden McKay. A late power play gave the IceRays the lead 2-1 when a shot from the faceoff circle eluded goaltender Martinsson. The IceRays outshot the Bulls 13-8 in the second.
The Bulls penalty killing flexed its muscles in the final 20 minutes with some great work including one for five minutes. The IceRays had a difficult time getting any attack sustained inside the Bulls zone. With six minutes remaining, Corpus Christi was able to push out to a two-goal advantage scoring on a wraparound at the side of the net. The visitors kept pushing and were rewarded for their hard work via the power play. With the goaltender pulled for an extra attacker, the Bulls won the face-off and Joey Molinaro deflected a shot from defenseman Tyler Hall with 1:17 remaining. Amarillo was looking for the equalizer in the final minute of regulation and pressed up the ice. The attack only generated one shot on goal and the hometown IceRays held on for the victory.
Despite outshooting the IceRays 9-6 in the third period , the Bulls fell short on the final total 30-23.
The Amarillo Bulls and the Corpus Christi IceRays close out the weekend series tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon at 2:30 pm at American Bank Center. Tune into the action live 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 2:10 pm.
Hockey returns to the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center next Friday, Feb. 5 and Saturday, Feb. 6 when the Bulls host the Topeka RoadRunners at 7 pm. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all United Supermarket locations. For further information on Group Rates, or 10 Game Flex Packs, please call 806-242-1122.