BULLS BLANKED BY WILDCATS
AMARILLO, TX – There are games when team’s know that it’s not going to be their night and the Amarillo Bulls may have realized that in the first period against the Wichita Falls Wildcats on Saturday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
Forward Aleksi Poikola wristed a high rising shot over the unsuspecting shoulder of goaltender Anton Martinsson and that in the end proved to be the margin of difference. The Bulls were blanked 8-0 at the hands of the North American Hockey League leading Wichita Falls Wildcats. It was the worst Bulls loss of the 2015-16 season, and extended their losing streak to five games their deficit for the fourth and final playoff spot to 15 points. The Corpus Christi IceRays collected one point in an overtime loss to the Lone Star Brahmas.
Special teams were the difference in the game as the Bulls power play failed to gain any traction, while the penalty killing surrendered three including two decisive markers in middle period.
In the Texas Panhandle, after that first goal it would be the Wildcats that would tack on that second goal in the final minute. Two Wildcats’ forwards were pushing in the Bulls’ zone against three defenders. Forward Ryan Burnett was able to sneak through a wire a shot on the short side of the goaltender. The Bulls kept pushing forward through the first 20 minutes but were not rewarded for their hard work. Michael Forman and Trent Dillinger were denied by Justin Kapelmaster on chances in front of the net. The Bulls outshot the Wildcats 12-11 in the first period.
The second period started well for the Bulls as they were able to keep the visitors from widening their lead. Special teams that were good, in Friday’s game and early on Saturday, let down the Bulls. The Wildcats scored two power play markers 30 seconds apart to make it 4-0. A fifth goal would be netted a short time later. The fourth goal was a controversial one as it appeared the net was off its pegs after the puck crossed the line. Goaltender Anton Martinsson was unable with the decision and was tossed from the game. Jacob Weatherly took over in goal. The Wildcats outshot the Bulls 18-9 in the middle stanza.
The visiting Wildcats rounded out the scoring with three more goals in the first nine minutes of the third period. All three were scored on well placed shots. It was all Wichita Falls in the third period outshooting the Bulls 20-8. Amarillo had a power play in the final couple of minutes of the game but couldn’t break the shutout bid of Kapelmaster.
The Wichita Falls Wildcats outshot the Amarillo Bulls 53-29 including 42-17 over the final minutes. There were eight power plays with the visitors having three more chances than Amarillo.
The Amarillo Bulls hope to rebound from that performance next weekend when they host the rival Odessa Jackalopes. Friday is Star Wars Night Presented By Hastings in support of Children’s Miracle Network. There are $12 Red and Silver Tickets available with $4 benefiting the Children’s Miracle Network. Star Wars Characters will be on the concourse for fans to get pictures with. Next Saturday, It’s Suddenlink Night with more great giveaways expected.
Tickets for both games are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office as well as all United Supermarket locations. For further information call 806-242-1122.