WICHITA FALLS, TX – Twenty-six seconds…
That proved to be a big margin of difference for the Amarillo Bulls in their third straight game against the South Division leading Wichita Falls Wildcats on Wednesday night. The Bulls yielded a goal 26 seconds into the game and dropped a 2-0 decision to the Wildcats.
After firing close to 30 shots in each of the first two meetings, the Bulls were only able to muster about 20 on goaltender Justin Kapelmaster. It was an off-night for the Bulls as they didn’t have the same zip in their game that was demonstrated in their last eight contests including the two played over the weekend against the Cats. One of the bright spots in the game was the Bulls penalty killing that prevented the Wildcats from scoring on six attempts.
The Amarillo Bulls had a rough start to the game on Wednesday night. The Wildcats came out with a strong forecheck that pressured the Bulls defense and allowed for more scoring chances. The Bulls surrendered the game’s first goal just 26 seconds in on a deflection at the side of the net. Matt Nicholson’s charges settled down and were able to get some offensive zone time. Nick Santoro missed on a great chance trying to stuff the puck in at the side of the net. Joey Molinaro and Coale Norris were sent in on a two-on-one break, but goaltender Justin Kapelmaster kept the puck out with a strong skate save. The Wildcats outshot the Bulls 14-7 in the first period.
Special teams were a big part of the 2nd period as the Bulls were kept busy and did a great job preventing the hometown Wildcats from scoring on four straight power plays. The Bulls had a partial breakaway shorthanded as Liam Ferguson’s shot was stopped by the goaltender. In the final minute, Amarillo had its own power play chance and it was Tyler Gernhofer and Tyler Hall nearly coming up with opportunities. The Wildcats outshot the Bulls 16-6 in the middle stanza.
The Bulls began the third period on the power play with a chance to pull even. Several shots were directed towards the goaltender, including ones by Jake Houston and Tyler Hall, but all were turned away. Goaltender Anton Martinsson made one of his biggest saves of the game stopping a Wildcats’ player right in front of the net. Wichita Falls added a second goal in the final seven minutes of regulation as a player was left alone at the side of the net and scored on a second rebound.
Houston, Phil Fromberger and Liam Ferguson were the shot leaders for the Bulls with three each. Anton Martinsson played well and turned aside 41 of 43 shots he faced. The Bulls had five power plays in the game but didn’t score.
The Amarillo Bulls are off for 10 days and return to action on Friday, Mar. 11 and Saturday, Mar 12 versus the Topeka RoadRunners at 7 pm. Friday is Community Options/806 Sports Night, while Saturday is sponsored by Khiva Shriners. It’s players’ parents weekend with a special ceremony planned before the game on Saturday. The Bulls will wear specialty jerseys in support of The Shriners with an auction to follow after the Saturday game with proceeds to benefit the great cause.
Fans can purchase tickets at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office or Panhandle Ticket locations including United Supermarkets. For further information on Group Rates, or 2016-17 Season Tickets, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.