That’s the number of overtime and shootout games combined the Amarillo Bulls and the Wichita Falls Wildcats have played this season.
The last one was the lucky one for the Amarillo Bulls as forward Charlie Singerhouse scored on a penalty shot and later the game winner in a shootout to lift the Bulls past the Wildcats 4-3 in front of a crowd of better than 2,800 on First Responder Night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. Nikita Babintsev stopped 47 of 50 shots he faced and was magnificent in overtime robbing several Wildcats’ players on great scoring chances. The Russian born backstopper was also terrific in the shootout stopping all three shooters he faced.
Cole Lussier, Alex Truscott netted the other Bulls markers, while Luke Edgerton, Steven Ipri, Jake Nitsche and Tyler Miknitch earned assists on the goals.
It was the Bulls 14th win of the season and third on home ice and it propelled them into a tie for fifth place with the Odessa Jackalopes who were beaten in Corpus Christi.
The night began with a special ceremony as several dignitaries representing first responders each participated in a puck drop. There was also a parade of first responder vehicles during the first intermission.
The Wichita Falls Wildcats jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 73 seconds into the opening period when Isaac Kobienia scored when he was left uncovered at the side of the net. Later in stanza Charlie Singerhouse was rewarded a penalty shot as he was slashed on a breakaway attempt. Singerhouse made no mistake on the opportunity as he beat goaltender Charlie McBey making his NAHL debut in goal. The Wildcats took the lead late in the period as Nick Rosa followed up a rebound and put the puck past the stick of Nikita Babintsev. The Bulls were outshot by the Wildcats 14-12 in the first period.
It was all Amarillo in the middle stanza as the team worked hard and outplayed the visitors. Alex Truscott tied the game 2-2 when he scored on a one-timer from Luke Edgerton. The Bulls took the lead two minutes later as Cole Lussier scored from Tyler Miknitch who pushed the puck away from the defenseman at the blue line that sent the forward in the clear. Wichita Falls found a way to pull even as Ryan Burnett scored on a rebound on the power play. The Bulls outshot the Wildcats 19-12 in the second period.
There was no scoring in the third period but plenty of end to end action that kept the goaltenders busy. Each team had power play chances late in the game but were unsuccessful in giving their teams the lead.
It was a frantic overtime session with the Wildcats controlling much of the play but couldn’t win the game because of the strong goaltending of Nikita Babintsev.
In the shootout Charlie Singerhouse scored on the Bulls first attempt, while the Wildcats were thwarted on all three shooters.
The Wichita Falls Wildcats outshot the Amarillo Bulls 50-43. The teams combined on 11 power play opportunities with the Bulls going 0 for 5 and the Wildcats were 2 for 6.
The final game of the weekend series between the Bulls and the Wildcats takes place tomorrow (Saturday) night at 7 pm at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. It’s Merrick Pet Care Pet Night and there will be Pet Food Draws throughout the night and concourse booth displays. Sonic Presents The Family 4 Pack for $44 (4 tickets, 4 hotdogs and 4 sodas) and the Bring-A-Bud Pack for $22 (2 tickets, 2 hotdogs and 2 sodas).
It’s Boys Scouts and Girl Scout Weekend with Troops and Packs getting discounted tickets for either Friday or Saturday night.
Purchase Tickets for the game at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, by calling 242-1122 or online at www.amarillobulls.com. Fans can also get tickets through the Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket locations including United Supermarkets or online at www.panhandletickets.com.