Third Period Propels Bulls Past Odessa 5-4

AMARILLO, TX – The third periods have been unkind to the Amarillo Bulls this season. However, the Bulls got a measure of revenge on Thursday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.

Brett Abdelnour scored with 75 seconds remaining in regulation time to lift the Bulls past the Odessa Jackalopes 5-4 in a highly physical and entertaining game. Rocky Russo’s charges evened up the New Avenues I-27 Freeway Series at 3-3 with the victory. There are two more games to come between the two teams tomorrow (Friday) night and again on Saturday both in the Texas Panhandle at 7 pm.

That goal by Abdelnour was his second of the game, while Jason Brancheau, Alex Borowiec and Nick Stuckless had the others. Jason Grande posted the win in goal. The Bulls used a vital game in hand and pulled to within seven points of the Corpus Christi IceRays for the 4th and final playoff spot in the South Division.

After surrendering the game’s first goal to Jared Christy just 4:11 into the first, the Bulls caught fire and scored three straight markers. It started with a wraparound from Brett Abdelnour who scored just one second after the Bulls had killed off a penalty. Three minutes later, Alex Borowiec followed up his own rebound and slid it past goaltender Brett Epp. Jason Brancheau scored the Bulls third goal of the game, and fourth shorthanded one of the season, when he fired a rocket to the top corner. The Jackalopes added a power play goal late in the period from Zac Hermann to make it 3-2 after the first stanza in favor of the home team. The Bulls outshot Odessa 14-10 in the first.

There was only one goal in the middle frame as Petr Miko scored for Odessa just past the midway mark. Odessa controlled much of the play in the second and outshot the Bulls 18-9.

The visitors took the lead in the first 99 seconds of the third period thanks to a power play as Jared Christy got his second. The resilient Bulls didn’t back down and six minutes later tied the game at 4-4 as Nick Stuckless scored in the slot area from Jared Domin. It was a frantic pace over the final 12 minutes of regulation as the Bulls had to kill off a four minute power play. The Bulls sent their fans home happy as Brett Abdelnour and Gleb Murtazin combined on a rush up the ice in the final 80 seconds. Abdelnour tipped the puck into the open net to give the Bulls the lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

The Odessa Jackalopes outshot the Amarillo Bulls 42-35. Special teams were a big story in the game as the Bulls penalty killing were kept busy for most of the night. Odessa finished the night 2 for 10, while Amarillo was 0 for 2.

The New Avenues I-27 Freeway Series continues tomorrow night (Friday) at 7 pm at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. It’s Family Night with the Bulls offering the Four Pack for $44 (four tickets, four hotdogs and four sodas) and the Bring A Bud Pack for $22 (two tickets, two hotdogs and two sodas.) The Bulls and the Jackalopes conclude their hattrick of games on Saturday at 7 pm. It’s Star Wars Night Presented By YC3 in support of 24 Hours In The Canyon. The Bulls are wearing special Cancer Survivor Jerseys with a live auction to follow after the game.

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.amarillobulls.com and www.panhandletickets.com.