Bulls Suffer 5-3 loss to Jackalopes

post-game-recapODESSA, TX – Coaches will tell you that a 2-0 lead is the hardest for any team to hold onto in any sport.

The Amarillo Bulls found out just how hard it was on Tuesday night as they dropped a 5-3 decision to the Odessa Jackalopes at Ector County Coliseum. The Jackalopes moved into a tie for fifth place in the South Division with the Bulls who are off until Feb. 10 and 11 when they return to home ice.

George Mika, Brey Crowder and Nestor Plarsmo tallied for the Bulls, while Brandon Bussi took the loss in goal. He was lifted in the third period for Nikita Babintsev. There were four disallowed goals in the game with four of them as a result of the net being off.

The Amarillo Bulls didn’t seem to mind the 10 day layoff as they played with energy passion and at times took the play to Odessa. George Mika gave the Bulls a 1-0 lead when he scored off a terrific pass from Nestor Plarsmo at the 2:07 mark. Mika was left uncovered in front of the net and his whack at the puck found the back of the net. The rest of the period was dominated by Brandon Bussi who came up large keeping his team in front. His best stop was on a Chase Thudium partial breakaway. The Bulls added to their lead in the dying ends of the stanza when Brey Crowder scored on the power play from Steven Ipri and George Mika. Odessa outshot Amarillo 12-9 in the first period.

It was a wild second period with 29 total shots between the two teams. The Bulls thought they had extended their lead early in the second on Luke Edgerton’s second attempt at the side of the net, but the referee ruled that the net was off its pegs before the puck crossed the line. During that play the Jackalopes goaltender Jonny Hogue was tossed from the hockey team for words with the referee. That seemed to fire up the home side as the Jackalopes went to work scoring three times to take the lead. Joe Kinsella scored on a point shot and then Chase Thudium tapped home a 2-on-1. Noah Poindexter gave his team the league when he deflected a shot with a high stick through the legs of Bussi that appeared to be over the crossbar. However, the referee let the goal stand. The Jackalopes outshot the Bulls 18-11 in the second period.

The first five minutes of the third period didn’t start well for the Bulls as the Jackalopes added to their lead with two goals, 30-seconds apart. Rowan Savidant scored on a sharp angled shot and then Nick Wilson pushed one through a scrum in front of the net. That fifth goal sent Brandon Bussi to the net in favor of Nikita Babintsev. Amarillo rallied late as Nestor Plarsmo stole the puck off a defenseman’s stick and rifled a a quick shot to the top corner to make it 5-3. Down the stretch the Bulls pushed looking to close to game even further but were unsuccessful.

The Amarillo Bulls were outshot by the Odessa Jackalopes 34-26. The penalty killing was strong for the Bulls on the night as they didn’t allow Odessa to score on four attempts.

It’s nine days between games for the Amarillo Bulls as their next games are not until Friday, Feb. 10 and Saturday, Feb. 11 when they host the Odessa Jackalopes at 7 pm. Friday is First Responders Night Presented by Neighbors Health Care and all first responders get in free, while their families can get $8 tickets. Saturday is Merrick Pet Care Pet Night as there will be a variety of concourse booths and draws throughout the night. It’s also Sonic Family Four Pack for $44 and the Sonic Bring A Bud Pack for $22.

It’s also Boys Scouts and Girls Scouts Weekend as Troops and Packs can receive discounted tickets through the Bulls Office only for either games.

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 and www.amarillobulls.com.  For further information please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.