ODESSA, TX – The Amarillo Bulls scored four of the last five goals of the game and rallied past the Odessa Jackalopes 4-3 on Friday night at Ector County Coliseum in Odessa, TX. It was the Bulls eighth win of the season and it also snapped a three game losing streak. The Bulls were also able to notch their third straight win over their rivals.
Amarillo trailed 2-0 after 20 minutes of hockey and it was the special teams that cued the comeback. Two power play goals in the second period, and then two even strength in the third were the crushing blows. Luke Novak tallied twice for the Bulls while newcomer Joe Leonidas and Will Harrison added singles.
The Odessa Jackalopes got the jump on the Amarillo Bulls using the power play and an even strength goal to jump out to a 2-0 lead. The Bulls carried the play early but a penalty led the Jacks power play and a goal right off the face-off to start the scoring. Six minutes later Odessa added to its lead on a play in front of the net. Amarillo had several chances shorthanded with Joey DiBenedetto and Riley Christensen being denied by strong defensive plays by Odessa. The Jacks outshot the Bulls 13-9 in the first period.
It was a great second period by the Amarillo Bulls as their special teams got rolling in a big way scoring twice to tie the game and nearly getting more. Luke Novak notched his first of two when he followed up a rebound in front of the net and pushed it past goaltender Robin Johansson. Near the end of the stanza, it was Novak again as he tapped home a loose puck in the goal crease area after Ben Jentsch’s shot deflected off of several players in front. Will Harrison also collected an assist on the play. The Bulls outshot the Jackalopes 12-10 in the second period.
The third period was all Bulls scoring two goals 2:03 apart of take the lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Joe Leonidas made his debut a strong one when he scored off a face-off from Brady Crabtree at 1:49. Will Harrison then made it 4-2 when he converted a great cross ice pass from Cody Gylling and Tristan Rostagno. Odessa trimmed the advantage to just a goal off a breakaway shorthanded. That would be the only offense for the home side as the Bulls limited Odessa to just four shots while getting 12 of their own.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Odessa Jackalopes 33-29. Special teams also heavily favored the Bulls going 2 for 8, while Odessa was 1 for 4.
The two Texas rivals will meet again tonight (Saturday) at Ector County Coliseum. Fans can listen to the Amarillo-Odessa clash live beginning with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 6:40 pm on CBS Sports Radio 1440 and online at www.amarillobulls.com, as well as on PPV courtesy of Fast Hockey. Denis J. Puska has the hard hitting action at 7 pm.
A reminder it won’t be long until hockey returns at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. The Bulls host the Lone Star Brahmas on Friday, Dec. 19 and Saturday, Dec. 20 at 7 pm. Friday is the ugliest sweater contest and fans who could win a prize for having the worst one. Saturday is Toys For Tots Teddy Bear Toss presented by Wal-Mart. Fans can 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.
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.