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First Period Hurts Bulls in 7-3 loss

IMG_5942AMARILLO, TX – A bad first period doomed the Amarillo Bulls on Saturday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. The visiting Shreveport Mudbugs fired three goals in the opening stanza and went on to beat the Bulls 7-3.  The loss extended Amarillo’s winless streak to 11 games (0-6-5). The Bulls depart on a two-week road swing next weekend with stops in Corpus Christi and then a return engagement with the Mudbugs in Louisiana on the first weekend in December.

Charlie Singerhouse, George Mika and Brendan Michaelian tallied for the Bulls. Nikita Babintsev played the first 40 minutes in goal before being relieved by Kyle Madore.

The opening period proved to be an uphill battle that the Amarillo Bulls couldn’t overcome. The visitors scored on the power play when Brendon Gysbers scored on a great shot at the 5:56 mark. The Bulls had three power play opportunities of their own, including a four minute advantage but failed to score. The Mudbugs added two more goals to extend their lead to 3-0. The NAHL leading point getter Eric Zohovs scored on a great individual effort and then Frankie Melton three minutes later found the back of the net on a rebound in front. Shreveport outshot Amarillo 13-12 in the first period.

The Bulls got on the board early in the second period when Charlie Singerhouse scored on a face-off win by George Mika at the 3:41 mark. Singerhouse’s shot beat goaltender Dylan Lubbesmeyer between the legs. After the Mudbugs restored a two goal lead, it was another marker by Matt Nicholson’s charges. George Mika finished off a rebound in front of the net from Charlie Singerhouse and Brendan Walkom. That goal seemed to get the Bulls fired up as they started to put pressure on the Mudbugs in the offensive zone.

However, it was short lived as Shreveport was able to connect twice in a span of just over two minutes. Kristaps Jakobsons scored on a hard shot from the point and then Kieran Durgan was the last player to touch the puck on wild sequence of bounces in front of the net. The Bulls rounded out the scoring thanks to a power play goal. Brendan Michaelian scored on a rocket from the point with help from Carson Moniz. Shreveport outshot Amarillo 13-12 in the second period.

Kyle Madore took over from Nikita Babintsev in the third period and made some impressive saves to keep the Mudbugs off the score sheet. At the other end of the rink Eric Cooley, Kosta Likourezos and Charlie Singerhouse were stopped by the Mudbugs goaltender. Shreveport rounded out the scoring with a goal in the dying seconds of the game.

The Shreveport Mudbugs outshot the Amarillo 41-25. There were nine total power plays, while the Mudbugs going 1 for 4 and the Bulls were 1 for 5.

It’s back on the road for the Amarillo Bulls on Thanksgiving Holiday weekend as they travel to Coprus Christi to take on the IceRays at American Bank Center. 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 Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 6:40 pm on Friday and Saturday night. The puck drop follows at 7 pm with Denis J. Puska

Hockey returns to the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Friday, Dec. 9 and Saturday, Dec. 10 when the Amarillo Bulls host the rival Topeka RoadRunners at 7 pm. Saturday is the annual Toys For Tots Teddy Bear Toss where fans can bring a new or gently used Teddy Bear or Stuffed Animal to the game. When the Bulls score their first goal, toss the toys onto the ice in support of a great cause. 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. For further information please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.