Newcomer Brandon Bussi stopped all 32 shots he faced to spark the Bulls past the IceRays 3-0. Brendan Walkom, Steven Ipri and then Eric Cooley into an empty net tallied for Amarillo. The victory was the Bulls 42 all time versus Corpus Christi in 69 meetings.
It was a great game played by the Bulls right from the opening whistle as they dominated play at times using their speed that kept the IceRays off balance.
The two teams will meet again next weekend at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
The Amarillo Bulls carried the play to the Corpus Christi IceRays in the first period. The visitors had lots of pressure but unable to sneak anything past Camden Burgrabbe. There were multiple power plays with Bray Crowder have a scoring chance at the side of the net, but his attempt went on top of the net and didn’t go in. At the other end Brandon Bussi was smooth but lightly tested His best stop was with his glove on a chance by Mason Krueger. The Bulls outshot the IceRays 13-8 in the first period.
The ice was tilted in the 2nd period as the Bulls spent most of the stanza in the offensive zone as the IceRays had problems moving the puck. Amarillo was finally rewarded for their hard work when Brendan Walkom scored off a shot from Brey Crowder at 12:48. It was Walkom’s second goal in as many games. The IceRays managed 13 shots on goal many of them coming late in the period.
An early power play sent the Bulls to work to start the third period. Steven Ipri deflected home a shot in the goal crease at the 1:04 mark from Charlie Singerhouse and Jeff Solow to make it 2-0. The pace picked up in the rest of the period as the IceRays tried to get back into the game but were stopped by the Bulls defense and goaltender Bussi. The Bulls penalty killing was flawless especially in the final four minutes of regulation. The IceRays pulled their goaltender, but the Bulls were able to win a foot race for the puck. Eric Cooley fired the puck into the open night to seal the win.
The Amarillo Bulls were outshot by the Corpus Christi IceRays 36-32.
Hockey returns to the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Friday, Jan. 20 and Saturday Jan. 21 when the Bulls host the IceRays. Saturday is Star Wars Night in support of Children’s Miracle Network and the Bulls will wear special jerseys with an auction to follow immediately 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.panhandletickets.com.