ODESSA, TX – The Amarillo Bulls had only yielded just one shorthanded goal in 53 games this season. That all changed on Thursday night, and it proved to be the difference in the contest at Ector County Coliseum. The Odessa Jackalopes scored two shorthanded goals 29 seconds apart to fuel a comeback and beat the Bulls 5-2. It’s the first of three straight games between the two teams with the next two set for tomorrow (Friday) night and Saturday at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
It was a tale of two games between the two teams as the Bulls had the momentum and a 2-0 advantage in the first 29 minutes of play, thanks to markers from Georgea and Steven Ipri. But after that it was Odessa that rallied with three goals in a span of five minutes and then potted two more goals in the third period. Odessa extended its winning streak to three while the Bulls had their points- collection streak stopped at four. For the sixth straight game, the Bulls were only able to score two goals.
It was a fast and quick first period for the Amarillo Bulls as they came out firing on all cylinders. The Bulls jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a George Mika’s 29th of the year as he tipped home a puck from Eric Cooley and Colin Price at the 4:16 mark. Price had a great play at the blueline to keep the moving and get it ahead to Cooley. Later in the period, the Bulls added a second goal when Steven Ipri roofed a shot past goaltender Hogue from Truscott and Edgerton at 11:22. Truscott made the heads up pass to spot Ipri open. Charlie Singerhouse had a couple of great chances in the stanza as his breakaway was stopped by the goaltender and later a shot went off the post. The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Odessa Jackalopes 18-5. The first period was stopped with just 48 seconds left as the power went out in the building forcing teams to take their intermission break a bit sooner that expected.
The second period went quickly in the wrong direction for the Amarillo Bulls as the Odessa Jackalopes were able to gain traction thanks to a penalty kill that rewarded them with two goals 29 seconds apart. First Zac Heintz scored on a pass from Zach Zech and then Cooper Zech pushed home a puck at the side of the net when the Bulls couldn’t track down the rebound. The Jackalopes grabbed the lead at the 14:14 mark when the Bulls failed to clear the puck out of their own end. Tyler Pietrowski scored when he converted a rebound in front. There was a good fight in the period featuring Alex Truscott and Chase Thudium. Odessa outshot Amarillo 14-7 in the middle stanza.
The Bulls came out a bit better in the third period but still unable to push anything else past the goaltender. The best chance came from Brendan Furry and Brendan Walkom as they raced up the ice on a two on one. Furry, who is an affiliated player and tendered for next season, was playing in his first game in a Bulls uniform. Walkom later tried a centering pass on the power play that went off the goaltender and stayed out.
The Odessa Jackalopes rounded out the scoring with two more goals. The first was by Zach Zech who tallied on a 2 on 1 break and the second was by Ludwig Steinlund who scored on a one timer on the power play.
The Odessa Jackalopes outshot the Amarillo Bulls 39-33. There were just five power plays with the Bulls going 0 for 4 while the Jacks were 1 for 1.
These two teams will play on Friday and Saturday at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. On Friday fans can get a child’s ticket free when they purchase a regularly priced ticket. On Saturday it’s Amarillo Youth Hockey Night and the Bulls will wear their special jerseys with a live auction to follow immediately after the game. It’s the Sonic Family Four Pack for $44 and the Sonic Bring a Bud Pack for $22. 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.amarillobulls.com and www.panhandletickets.com.