Colin Price saved his first goal in the North American Hockey League for an important time as it was the game winner in the Bulls 2-1 triumph over the Shreveport Mudbugs. It was the Bulls third win at home in their last five games. Brendan Walkom had the other Bulls goal, while Nikita Babintsev was rock solid between the pipes turning aside 29 of 30 shots he faced.
The Amarillo Bulls and the Shreveport Mudbugs were meeting for the third time in three nights and energy levels by both teams were to be maximized to the best. In the end, it was the Bulls that used their strong conditioning to their advantage and had more left in the tank than the visitors.
The teams began in frantic fashion in the first period with both getting power play opportunities but no one finding the back of the net. The Bulls grabbed the game’s first goal in the final minute of play as Charlie Singerhouse took the puck in the corner and sent it over to Brendan Walkom who was able to elevate it past goaltender Dyllan Lubbesmeyer and into the net. Shreveport outshot Amarillo 10-6 in the first period.
There was no scoring in the middle period but teams kept up the torrid pace. The Bulls had several odd-man rushes up the ice looking to extend their lead but were thwarted by goaltender Lubbesmeyer. Nikita Babintsev also was strong in goal robbing Steven Mather on a partial breakaway. Each team had 9 shots in the second period.
It was special teams that got the Mudbugs even to start the third period. Defenseman Croix Evingson wired a shot past the glove of Babintsev at the 8:07 mark of the third period. There was plenty of excitement with the game tied at 1-1 as both teams were looking to skate away with the lead. The Bulls defense came up big on the Mudbugs and their scoring chances and that led to a big break up the ice. Eric Cooley fanned on a shot but somehow managed to get the puck over to Colin Price who caught the goalie out of position and was able to push it into the open cage. George Mika earned an assist on the play. Shreveport was hoping to tie the game in the final minute of play and pulled its goaltender looking to get the equalizer. A race up the ice for the puck resulted in Frankie Melton tripping up the speedy Eric Cooley to end the comeback bid and send the Bulls on the power play.
The Amarillo Bulls were outshot by the Shreveport Mudbugs 31-24 including 12-9 in the final 20 minutes. There were eight power plays combined between the two teams with the Bulls going 0 for 3 and the Mudbugs were 1 for 5.
These two teams are not done with one another yet and still have a two game home stand next Friday and Saturday at George’s Pond-Hirsch Coliseum at 7:11 pm. Fans can tune into the action live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, online at www.amarillobulls.com and PPV with Hockey TV, beginning with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 6:45 pm.
Hockey returns to the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Friday, March 24 and Saturday Mar. 25 when the Bulls host the Odessa Jackalopes at 7 pm. It’s Player Parents Weekend and Saturday’s game is sponsored by Amarillo Youth Hockey. The Bulls will be wearing special jerseys that weekend with proceeds to benefit Amarillo Youth Hockey and a live auction takes place at the end of the game on Saturday night. 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 by calling 806-242-1122.