ODESSA, TX – A sense of urgency was missing from the Amarillo Bulls the last couple of games. That all changed on Saturday night as the Bulls fired three second period goals and held off the Odessa Jackalopes 4-2 at Ector County Coliseum.
The victory by the Bulls not only snapped a two game losing streak but it pushed them into sole possession of sixth in the South Division after the Killer Bees fell 3-2 in a shootout to Topeka. Amarillo and Rio Grande Valley have a huge four game head-to-head showdown starting next Friday in the Texas Panhandle.
Elijiah Barriga, Riley Christensen, Will Harrison and Ben Jentsch tallied for Amarillo, while Trent Dillinger and AJ Duggan each had two helpers. Jacob Weatherly notched the win in goal turning aside 19 of 21 shots he faced. The game was tied 1-1 early in the second period when the Bulls scored three straight to pull ahead for good.
It was a better start to the game for the Amarillo Bulls as they helped goaltender Jacob Weatherly defensively by making sure he was able to make all the saves. The Bulls tallied the game’s first goal when Elijiah Barriga notched his sixth of the year converting a rebound in front of the net from AJ Duggan and Joey DiBenedetto at 8:40. The Bulls outshot the Jackalopes 12-7 in the first stanza.
The second period was a much better one for the Amarillo Bulls as they demonstrated great resilience once the Jackalopes had tied the game 1-1. Three goals by the Bulls with two coming less than a minute apart proved to be the tonic the visitors needed. Riley Christensen pulled Amarillo back in front 2-1 when he scored 34 seconds after the Odessa marker from Trent Dillinger and AJ Duggan. Late in the stanza, the power play caught fire as Trent Dillinger’s great rush up the ice was finished off by Will Harrison who nudged the puck across the goal line. Less than a minute later Ben Jentsch’s shot grazed off the shoulder of goaltender Tanner Creel and it was 4-1. Each team had 10 shots on goal in the period.
The hometown Jackalopes came on in the third period but the Bulls remained solid defensively. Odessa pulled to within two thanks to a power play goal just past the five minute mark. Goaltender Jacob Weatherly kept the Bulls in front stopping all pucks that were fired at him. The Jackalopes took a five minute major in the final four minutes of the game that stopped any comeback bid.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Odessa Jackalopes 26-21.
Hockey is back at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center next weekend as the Bulls host the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees in a crucial series. The two teams meet on Friday, Jan. 30 and Saturday, Jan. 31 at 7 pm. Friday’s game is sponsored by Marble Depot, while Saturday is Back The Badge Night presented by Crime Stoppers.
Tickets for the games are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk as well as the Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets. For further information on Group Rates, or the $5 section, call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.