SHREVEPORT, LA – The Amarillo Bulls got off hot and flying in their match-up with the first place Shreveport Mudbugs on Saturday night at George’s Pond-Hirsch Coliseum. However, the Mudbugs separated a close game with two goals less than five minutes apart and defeated the visiting Bulls 6-1.
It was a game that the Bulls deserved a much better fate as they came out and took the play to the Mudbugs. The Bulls had tied the game 1-1 early in the second period only to see the hometown Mudbugs score two goals and break open the close game. The big turning point took place in the third period when Brett Abdelnour missed on a shorthanded scoring chance, and seconds later Shreveport raced down the ice and found the back of the net to make it 4-1.
Aaron Swanson netted the lone Bulls goal that was scored from Quinn Warmuth and Tyler Miknich. Jason Grande took the loss in goal despite playing well and keeping his team in the game for the first 40 minutes.
The Bulls controlled the play for the first 15 minutes of play and produced several scoring opportunities, but were unable to push it behind James Durham. Near the end of the period, the Mudbugs got on the board when the Bulls failed the clear the puck out of their own end Jay Fiewell was left alone at the side of net and able to put the puck into the net. The Bulls outshot the Mudbugs 13-7 in the first period.
The forward line of Tyler Miknich, Aaron Swanson and Jason Brancheau was flying during much of the game and were on display especially in the middle stanza. The Bulls tied the game when Swanson scored off a feed from Miknich and Quinn Warmuth. That was Swanson’s first goal in the NAHL. Two minutes later, Shreveport took the lead when Dominick Procopio scored on a short from the point. Nearly five minutes after that, Jakob Holmers scored on a play near the side of the net.
In the third period, the Bulls penalty killing went to work and nearly scored on a 2-on-1 rush up the ice by Stephen Rex and Brett Abdelnour. Goaltender James Durham shut the door on a nice pad save. Shreveport turned the offensive seconds later into their fourth goal as Ryan Burnett tipped home a play. The Mudbugs rounded out the scoring with two more as Burnett added his second and Brendan VanSweden was credited with a goal after Marcus Chorney put the puck into his own net.
The Shreveport Mudbugs outshot the Amarillo Bulls 29-23. Special teams hurt the Bulls on the night as they were unable to score on seven attempts. Shreveport scored once on six opportunities.
These two teams have one more match-up left before the Christmas break and it takes place on Sunday at 2 pm at George’s Pond-Hirsch Coliseum. Fans can tune into the action live on CBS sports Radio 1440, online at www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV with Hockey TV beginning with the Bulls Warm Up Show at 1:40 pm.
The Amarillo Bulls return home on Saturday, Dec. 30 and Sunday, Dec. 31 when they host the
Odessa Jackalopes at 7 pm at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. Tickets for all home games are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket locations, including United Supermarkets. Fans can also call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.