AMARILLO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls have certainly had their share of heartbreaking loses in the 2015-16 North American Hockey League season.
It happened again on Friday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center as the Bulls surrendered the game winning goal with 4.7 seconds remaining in regulation time and dropped a tough 2-1 decision to the rival Topeka RoadRunners. That was the Bulls 4th straight loss, while the RoadRunners were able to end a four game winning streak, but it was the fifth straight game where they were only able to manage at least two goals.
The crowd of more than 2,800 watched a goaltenders duel for much of the game as Anton Martinsson and Juho Niku were outstanding matching one another save for save. Niku robbed Jacob Nitsche seconds prior to the visitors netting their game winning goal.
The start to the game wasn’t to the Bulls liking as they surrendered the first goal just past the seven minute mark of the first period. A shot from the point was deflected in off a stick and behind Anton Martinsson. Topeka controlled much of the play in a big stretch of the first period and had the shot advantage 14-8.
It was all Amarillo in the 2nd period and forward Nick Santoro got the Bulls even. Charlie Singerhouse and Michael Forman worked the puck ahead to Santoro who fired a quick shot over the shoulder of goaltender Juho Niko just 2:22 into the stanza. The Bulls wore down the RoadRunners in the middle stanza with a strong physical presence. There was a great combination hit as forwards Forman and Joey DiBenedetto tagged a Topeka player with a strong check. Amarillo outshot Topeka 11-7 in the second period.
The third period was wide open as both teams skated up and down the ice. Goaltender Anton Martinsson robbed a RoadRunners’ forward with a sprawling save across the goal line. The Bulls kept pressing Topeka’s defense creating turnovers, but Niko was able to keep the puck out. With the game destined for overtime, the Bulls had a couple of chances in the final two minutes but were unsuccessful. The RoadRunners were able to sneak behind the Bulls defense and score on a partial breakaway.
The Topeka RoadRunners outshot the Amarillo Bulls 33-32. The two teams each had two power play opportunities but failed to score.
There is one more chance to see the Amarillo Bulls on home ice this weekend and it takes place tomorrow (Saturday) night at 7 pm against the Topeka RoadRunners. It’s Khiva Shriners Night and the Bulls are wearing specialty jerseys in support of the organization. A live auction follows immediately after the game in The Corral.
A Spring Break Special is available of $10 Red and Silver Sections. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets including United Supermarkets or by calling 806-242-1122.