AMARILLO, TX – The bigger they come the harder they fall…
That could be said about the game on Friday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center as the Amarillo Bulls scored two first period goals and held off the South Division leading Wichita Falls Wildcats 4-1. It was the Bulls fourth win on home ice and it moved them into a tie for fifth with the Corpus Christi IceRays.
The Bulls played nearly a flawless game tonight at all aspects from body-checking, to great offensive plays, to defensive zone coverage. Anton Martinsson was brilliant in net stopping 54 of 55 shots he faced, including 18 alone in the second period. That was Martinsson’s first career win against the Wildcats after suffering four straight losses.
The start was strong for the Amarillo Bulls as Joey Molinaro got the offence rolling with a great move on goaltender Justin Kapelmaster. Nick Bohatiuk set up the play by stealing the puck along the wall and finding the Canadian in the clear. Five minutes later, the Bulls made it 2-0 when Jacob Nitche, with his first in the NAHL, walked in over the blue line and wristed a shot past Kapelmaster. Phil Fromberger and Keenan Sabatini earned assists on the play. The Bulls outshot and out hit the Wildcats 16-14 in the first period.
Wichita Falls came on in the second period, but it was the Bulls that had the answers preventing the visitors from getting on the board. Anton Martinsson made a sprawling save on the far post to keep his team firmly in front. Despite two power plays for the homeside, the Wildcats outshot the Bulls 18-10.
The third goal of any game is always a swing one depending on who has the momentum. The Bulls were able to up their advantage to 3-0 when Matt Nehls scored off a rebound for his first in the NAHL. Nick Santoro and Trent Dillinger picked up helpers on the play. The Wildcats broke the shutout bid on Martinsson scoring on a 6-on-4 advantage with 37 seconds left. Charlie Singerhouse rounded out the scoring with an empty net goal from Brady Crabtree in the final 14 seconds.
The Wichita Falls Wildcats outshot the Amarillo Bulls 55-33, including 22-7 in the final stanza. There were nine combined power plays with the Wildcats going 1 for 5 and the Bulls were 0 of 4.
The Amarillo Bulls look to collect four points tomorrow (Saturday) night hosting the Wildcats on Military Appreciation Night Presented By Vista College. All active Military and Vets receive a free ticket, while military families can get discounted $8 tickets. There will be plenty of activity on the concourse as well as pre-game ceremonies including the swearing in of new cadets.
The Bulls Office at 301 South Polk will be open to purchase tickets from 10 am to 4 pm. Fans can also drop by the Civic Center Box Office or all Panhandle Ticket Outlets. For further information on Group Rates, call 806-242-1122.