AMARILLO, TX – Two-tenths of a second…
That’s what separated the Amarillo Bulls between a win on Saturday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. The Bulls surrendered the game tying goal with 0:00.2 left in regulation and another via the power play in overtime and dropped a 5-4 decision to the Wichita Falls Wildcats. It was the Bulls third point against Wichita Falls this season, and it pulled them to within two points of fifth place Corpus Christi which lost 4-1 on home ice to the Lone Star Brahmas.
Forward George Mika was at the right place and the right time for the Amarillo Bulls scoring two goals and adding an assist, while Johan Lundgren and Trent Dillinger provided single tallies. Lundgren’s goal tied the game 3-3 late in the second period, after the Bulls trailed 3-1 early in the second period. Dillinger gave Amarillo its first lead in the final eight minutes of regulation. Mike had led the Bulls with seven shots on goal. Anton Martinsson was very busy, and after surrendering three goals in the first 20 plus minutes, he settled down and played well. Martinsson faced 60 shots on goal.
It was the Wildcats that opened the scoring at the 15:18 mark of the first period. Just over two minutes later, George Mika tied the game when his shot hit goaltender Julien Sime and deflected in the net. Keenan Sabatini and Jake Houston had assists on the play. Wichita Falls took a 2-1 lead just under a minute after the Bulls had tied the game. The Wildcats outshot the Bulls 21-14 in the first stanza.
The Wildcats proceeded to extend their lead to 3-1 with a goal in the first 36 seconds. After that, the Bulls took over the game and gave the visitors all they could handle with some massive body checks and quality scoring chances. Mika picked up his second of the game when converted on the power play from Johan Lundgren at 6:54. In the final two minutes, Amarillo tied the game as Johan Lundgren’s centering pass was deflected off a Wildcat defender and into the net. George Mika got an assist on the goal. The Wildcats had the shot advantage 17-12 in the second period.
It was a wild third period that the Bulls were able to control, and had several power play opportunities. The Amarillo fitness level was winning out and those one-on-one battles. The Bulls took a 4-3 lead when Trent Dillinger deflected home a shot from Matt Nehls and Brady Crabtree with less than seven minutes left in regulation. The game remained at a frantic pace down the stretch with the Bulls defensive play holding firm. In the final minute of regulation, the Wildcats pulled their goaltender and worked hard to secure the equalizer. Austin Albrecht was allowed to elude the defenseman and shot the puck past Martinsson with just two tenths of a second remaining.
In overtime the Bulls took a penalty and the Wildcats were able to score by converting a pass in front of the net with just 1:50 left.
The Wichita Falls Wildcats outshot the Amarillo Bulls 60-34 in the game. The Bulls were able to score two power play goals on five opportunities, while the Wildcats connected once on just two attempts.
The Amarillo Bulls close out a two game home stand tomorrow (Sunday) night at 7 pm when they host the Odessa Jackalopes. It’s High Plains Food Bank Night Presented By Cumulus Media. Bring five non-perishable food items and get $5 off your tickets. It’s also Buy One Get One Free of Hotdogs. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office which will be open from 1 to 4 pm as well as Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets. For further information call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.