WICHITA FALLS, TX – One Of the hottest players and top point producers in the North American Hockey League caught fire on Saturday night but it wasn’t enough as the Amarillo Bulls dropped a 4-3 overtime decision to the Wichita Falls Wildcats. Mika scored the game tying goal in the third period and had an assist on the first goal of the game for the Bulls. The Naples, Florida native leads the NAHL in scoring with 25 points.
It was the fourth straight game where an extra session was required to decide a Bulls and Wildcats game. Steven Ipri and Hayden Broomhead tallied for the Bulls and Nikita Babintsev stopped 41 of 45 shots he faced. Ryan Orgel scored the game winner for Wichita Falls midway through the extra session on the power play. The Wildcats were swarming around the Bulls net and Orgel managed to fire the puck under the cross bar.
It was a strong first period for the Amarillo Bulls as they took the play early to the Wichita Falls Wildcats. The first three Bulls forward lines over the wall were able to produce scoring chances and offensive zone time. Hayden Broomhead gave the Bulls a 1-0 lead when he scored on a nifty move on goaltender Evan Moyse. George Mika and Brendan Walkom picked up assist on the play and the goal came at the 9:26 mark. The Wildcats tied the game up with a power play goal of their own as Alexi Poikola scored on a rebound attempt that was returned to him by goaltender Nikita Babintsev. Amarillo got back rolling late in the first, creating more scoring opportunities for Charlie Singerhouse, Eric Cooley and George Mika. The Wildcats outshot the Bulls 20-11 in the first period but many of those shots came from distance that were easily handled by the goaltender.
The Amarillo Bulls continued their good energy in the 2nd period and pushed the pace of play. Wichita Falls grabbed a 2-1 lead midway through the stanza on a goal by Steven Tillie who managed to break free from defenseman Matt Nehls and send a back hand shot over the shoulder of Babintsev. The Bulls outshot the Wildcats 13-10 in the second period.
Steven Ipri tallied his third goal versus the Wildcats this season when he tipped home a shot from defenseman Brendan Michaelian at the 5:44 mark. Eric Cooley and Charlie Singerhouse also helped out on the play.
Sixty four seconds later the Wildcats moved back in front on a goal by Rick Carbello who was able to knock home a rebound attempt in front of the net. The resilience of the Bulls came through again as George Mika scored on a great individual play by darting up the ice and firing a shot past Evan Moyse.
In overtime, the Bulls got into penalty trouble and did their best to prevent the opposition from scoring was it wasn’t meant to be. Ryan Orgel scored at the 2:37 mark as the Wildcats converted a made scramble in front of the net.
The Amarillo Bulls were outshot 45-29 by the Wichita Falls Wildcats.
Hockey is back at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center next Friday and Saturday, Nov. 18 and 19 when the Amarillo Bulls host the Shreveport Mudbugs at 7 pm. Fans can take advantage of a Pre-Black Friday special of $5 tickets that can only be purchased online at www.amarillobulls.com. Saturday is Snack Pack 4 Kids Night and fans can purchase $8 tickets at the Bulls Office only when they present the Flyer or said they saw the flyer. Fans can sign a huge 5×20 banner after making a donation to Snack Pak For Kids. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket locations. For further information please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.