AMARILLO, TX – One week ago the Amarillo Bulls lost a heartbreaking game in the last second of overtime in Corpus Christi. This week Jon Rogger’s charges turned the tables, on the second place team in the South Division.
Jesper Synnelius picked a perfect time to score his first North American Hockey League goal as it came with 27 seconds remaining in overtime to lift the Bulls past the Lone Star Brahmas 2-1 on Friday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
That was the Bulls 10th win of the season and it kept them within a single point of the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees for the sixth and final playoff spot in the South Division. The Killer Bees scored in the final three minutes to beat Odessa. The Bulls won their sixth on home ice and fifth when outshooting their opponent.
The Bulls rallied from a 1-0 third period deficit with the equalizer in the final 90 seconds just as they pulled their goaltender. Will Harrison found the back of the net just seconds after Amarillo had a goal called back. Goaltender Jacob Weatherly, who made is second straight start in goal, was terrific in goal making some timely saves to keep his teammates in front.
It was a clean fast-skating opening period as two of the most penalized teams in the North American Hockey League didn’t have one penalty called. The Brahmas grabbed a 1-0 lead on a face off win and a finished play in front of the net. The Bulls had some quality shots from the outside including from Charlie Combs and Joseph Leonidas but were unable to beat TJ Black. The Brahmas outshot the Bulls 13-8 in the first period.
The officials finally got to do some work in the second period as each team had one opportunity on the power play. The Bulls having the shot advantage 11-10. Both teams had great chances to score but goaltenders Jacob Weatherly and TJ Black made some solid saves.
The Bulls came out flying in the final 20 minutes and pushed the Brahmas right to the end. It appeared the Bulls tied the game when Luke Novak’s shot found the back of the net. But the referee waived the goal off stating that the play was offside. Just a few moments later, the Bulls pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker. Will Harrison shot the puck past goaltender TJ Black just as the net came off its pegs. Amarillo outshot the Brahmas 10-5 in the third period.
Overtime featured fast and furious action and a push up the ice by the Bulls in the final minute produced the game winner. Kasper Emanuelsson and Will Harrison set up the play, getting the puck over to Synnelius who fired the puck up under the crossbar.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Lone Star Brahmas 31-29. There were three power plays with neither team being able to capitalize.
There is one game before Christmas for the Amarillo Bulls and it takes place tomorrow (Saturday) night at 7 pm at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. It’s the fifth annual Toys For Tots Teddy Bear Toss and 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 in support of the great cause. Santa Claus will also be in attendance and fans can get their pictures with him. Seven Bar and Grill will give fans another chance to win a children’s bicycle.
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.amarillobulls.com. For further information on Group Rates or the new $5 section, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.