CHESTERFIELD, MO – Its moving day for players at the 6th Amarillo Bulls Main Camp taking place in Chesterfield, Missouri (Near St. Louis). The nearly 100 players will conclude with two final games today (Saturday) before having the opportunity to be moved into the All-Star Games on Sunday where the final decisions are made.
New Head Coach Matt Nicholson said after some early jitters the players were battling and working hard knowing what is at stake.
“Overall we thought the players had a lot of energy and their compete-level was high,” said Nicholson. “I’m looking forward as is everyone else to an even better day today having played two games yesterday for each team. Even in a short period of time, you start to see that chemistry develop, the familiarity on your line or defensive pairings. I think today will be even a better day but definitely day one was spirited and competitive which is encouraging.”
The Camp consists of returning players, those Tendered by the team during the past season, NAHL Draft Picks and those who caught the staff eyes at the three Try-Out Camps earlier in the summer.
One area that is always interesting to watch at Main Camp is the competition among goaltenders. Anton Martinson is not at Main Camp but will be in Amarillo in August, while Jacob Weatherly another returning puck stopper is in Chesterfield along with several others hoping to do their best.
“The tough part is going to be evaluating the goaltenders through the end of today and into the all-star game tomorrow to get down to the final four,” Nicholson said. “You have to look at each one individually since these teams are put together so quickly. To see the two and three-on-ones as well as breakaways that we saw yesterday puts the goaltenders in a bad spot so you are making sure you’re evaluating them on other aspects of their game.”
Many players go to Main Camp not only trying to play their best but at times almost doing too much and trying to change their style of game. Nicholson said the coaching and scouting staff gave the players a clear message.
“When we had our player and parent meeting on Friday night we told each player to be who they are,” he said. “To get to this point there was something in their game that had to work or brought them success so there is no reason to change it now. Often times, players are fixated on points and you need to score to be successful in terms of the team game. Do what you do was the message we gave them.”
In just over 45 days hockey returns to the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center as the Amarillo Bulls embark on their 6th season in the North American Hockey League. Full and Half Season Tickets as well as 10 game Flex Packs are currently available giving fans a variety of ways to see the action while saving money. For further information on seat locations and price points, please call the Bulls Office weekdays at 806-242-1122 or visit 301 South Polk in the Amarillo Building.