NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – The first 10 minutes proved to be the difference in the game between the Amarillo Bulls and the Lone Star Brahmas on Sunday afternoon at NYTEX Sports Center. The Bulls surrendered two goals in the first period and another early in the 2nd and dropped a 3-2 decision the Brahmas to close the third game in three nights between the two sides. Matt Nicholson’s charges are in the midst of a stretch where they will play six games in a span of 10 days.
Eric Cooley and Brendan Walkom tallied for the Bulls in the second period to mount the comeback charge. The visitors had all sorts of pressure in the third period including two very big power plays but failed to get the equalizer past goaltender Alec Calvaruso.
The first-place Lone Star Brahmas came out on a mission in the opening 20 minutes and had the Amarillo Bulls pushing back. The Brahmas struck first at the 3:28 mark on a sharp-angled shot by Austin O’Roarke who was able to just get it past the shoulder of Brandon Bussi. Seven minutes later, the Brahmas added a second one thanks to some great work behind the net that was worked up to a centering pass to Troy York who was able to score.
The Bulls best chance came on a rush up the ice by Steven Ipri who fired a shot of the post. Eric Cooley also was denied a goal as he pressured the Brahmas defense and scooped up the loose puck. The Brahmas outshot the Bulls 14-4 in the first period.
Julian Biando gave the Brahmas a 3-0 lead early in the middle stanza when he stole the puck away from the defenseman and stuffed the puck short-side past Bussi. After that the Bulls mounted a charge up the ice and it was cued by the combination of Eric Cooley and Colin Price who worked together to get the visitors on the board. Price’s shot was stopped by the goaltender and Cooley was able to follow up the rebound and put it in the net.
Just over six minutes later, the Bulls notched their 2nd goal as Brendan Walkom scooped up a loose puck in the offensive zone and beat the goaltender with a short-side shot. The Brahmas narrowly outshot the Bulls 15-12 in the period.
It was an exciting final 20 minutes as both teams worked quickly. Special teams were a big part of it as the Bulls killed off two big penalties keep themselves in the game. On the other side, the power play went to work and had plenty of offensive thrust and zone time. Brey Crowder rang one off the goal post and Jovan Zimmerman launch a shot in the midsection of the netminder. In the final minute the Bulls were unable to get sustained pressure in the offensive zone and get their goaltender Brandon Bussi to the bench for the extra attacker.
The Lone Star Brahmas outshot the Amarillo Bulls 35-23. There were no power play goals in 11 combined chances in the game.
Hockey returns to the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Thursday, Friday and Saturday March 9,10 and 11 when the Amarillo Bulls host the Shreveport Mudbugs at 7 pm. 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 on Group Rates, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.