NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – The Amarillo Bulls played one of their best Saturday night games in a long time, but overtime was their downfall in another heartbreaking loss that officially eliminated them from NAHL playoff contention.
Despite rallying from a two goal third period deficit, the Bulls were beaten 3-2 in overtime by the Lone Star Brahmas at NYTEX Sports Center in North Richland Hills Texas.
The Corpus Christi IceRays punched their ticket to the post season after they defeated the Shreveport Mudbugs 3-1.
The Bulls came out strong right from the opening puck drop and carried the play to the Brahmas, but were unable to score. Lone Star got on the board late in the first frame when Jon Russell scored on a blast from the top of the slot area at the 15:40 mark.
Special teams were a big part of the Bulls game in the second period and prevented the opposition from extending their lead, including on a 5-on-3. Brett Abdelnour was turned away on a partial shorthanded breakaway from Harrison Feeney. The Bulls outshot the Brahmas 14-6 in the stanza.
Lone Star added to its lead to start the third period when Austin Bottrell wired a shot of the post and in behind Jason Grande.
After that, it was all Amarillo and Rocky Russo’s charges threw everything they had at the net and were rewarded for their hard work. Alex Peterson scored on a rebound from Jason Brancheau and Brendan Datema at the 3:20 mark. Later in the period, it was the power play that caught fire and Austin O’Rourke banged home a shot from Peterson and Marcus Chorney to tie the tie game.
In overtime Austin Bottrell scored the game winner at the 1:20 mark when he fired the puck from an impossible angle that went off the arm of Grande and into the net.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Lone Star Brahmas 30-18. There were five total power plays with the Bulls having the lone goal.
It’s the regular season home finale for the Amarillo Bulls this Friday and Saturday at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center at 7 pm. Friday is sponsored by POP Stop and 806 Sports Radio with the Family Four Pack For $44 and the Bring A Bud for $22. Saturday is Fan and Child Appreciation Night with youth hockey jerseys given away at the door to children under 12 as well as team photos also to be distributed to all fans.
Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket locations including United Supermarkets or online at www.panhandletickets.com.