Bulls Beat Blizzard 2-1

BLAINE, MN – Historically the opening day of the North American Hockey League Showcase has gone well for the Amarillo Bulls. That upward trend continued on Wednesday night as Kosta Likourezos scored his second game winning goal to lift the Bulls past the Brookings Blizzard 2-1 in a shootout at the Schwann Super Rink.
It was the Bulls sixth win in seven first day games at the Showcase and it evened their regular season mark to 2-2. Amarillo faces the New Jersey Titans tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon at 5:15 pm on Rink 1 of the Schwann Super Rink.
Goaltender Nikita Babintsev made his first NAHL start an outstanding one as he stopped 42 of 43 shots he faced including several in overtime and in a shootout. George Mika scored for the Bulls in regulation to tie the game 1-1 and then Likourezos netted the game winner in the third round of shooters.
There was no scoring through the first 40 minutes of play as both teams played well. It was the Bulls that slowly took over control of the play from the 2nd period on and if it wasn’t for goaltender Josh Boyko could have easily won it in regulation.
Brandon Kruse gave Brookings a 1-0 lead in the third period when he went around the Bulls played and tucked the puck in short side past Babintsev. Ten minutes later, the Bulls hard work paid off when Hayden Broomhead spotted George Mika open for the deflection in front of the net. Kosta Likourezos added an assist on the play.
The three-on-three overtime featured lots of activity and chances for teams at both ends of the rink. In the shootout, Hayden Broomhead and Charlie Singerhouse were denied by Boyko. Likourezos provided the spark when he scored through the legs of the Brookings goaltender. Babintsev stopped the third Blizzard shooter to end the game.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Brookings Blizzard 60-43, including 46 in the final 45 minutes alone. There were three power plays with neither team being able to score.
Game two of the Showcase has the Amarillo Bulls taking on another first time opponent and the New Jersey Titans. Fans can tune into the action live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, online at www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV with Fast Hockey beginning with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 4:50 pm. The puck drop with Denis J. Puska follows at 5:15 pm.
Hockey returns to the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Friday, Oct. 14, Saturday Oct. 15 and Sunday Oct. 16 when the Amarillo Bulls host the Lone Star Brahmas. The face-off for all three games is set for 7 pm. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket locations including United Supermarkets. For further information on Group Rates, Season Tickets or Corporate Marketing Partnerships, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.