FRISCO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls battled hard against the Texas Tornado on Saturday night at Dr. Pepper Arena but came up short in a 3-0 setback. It was the Bulls third regulation loss of the season, and their South Division lead was trimmed to just three points.
The Bulls out-chanced and out-worked the Tornado at different points during the hockey game but couldn’t beat goaltender Joakim Justras who stopped all 23 shots he faced.
“I thought we started out pretty hot with lots of offensive opportunities and pressure in their zone,” said Bulls Assistant Coach Rocky Russo. “We get a scrum in front of our net and their fourth line jumps our first line. Somehow we have three guys removed from the game. It’s hard to play with five defenseman and 10 forwards. Excuses are not being made here; we battled throughout the entire game and just game up short.”
It wasa physical opening 20 minutes between the two teams that featured three fights at the 6:20 mark. The Tornado applied the pressure and scored on a scramble in front of the net to get the period’s lone goal. Texas outshot Amarillo 15-10 in the first period.
The second period was a much better one for the Bulls, having several scoring chances but they were turned away by goaltender Joakim Justras. The Tornado added a second goal at the 15:54 mark to extend the lead to 2-0.
The Bulls came out charging in the final 20 minutes with more pressure but again were denied getting on the scoreboard. Texas added a third goal in the final 10 minutes of the third period to round out the scoring.
This was the third game of four in a row for the Bulls, and Head Coach Dennis Williams said they have been trying to make sure everyone gets an opportunity to play.
“Our goal was to get everyone in at least for two games of this four game series,” he said. “I am comfortable with all of our guys and we try to rotate them all in there. Unfortunately, we get into some special teams and some guys have to sit. If we can stay out of the penalty box, we can just go one, two, three, four (lines). They can feel free to match lines against any of our guys, but I think we have the most depth out there.”
Texas outshot Amarillo 39-23. There were a total of seven power plays during the game with neither team scoring on the man advantage.
The four game road trip concludes for the Amarillo Bulls on Sunday afternoon when they face the Corpus Christi IceRays at 3 pm at American Bank Center. Fans can tune into the game live on ESPN1440 and www.amarillobulls.com fueled by UStream, beginning with pre-game show coverage presented by Wayland Baptist University at 2:45 pm. Denis J. Puska has the play by play at 3 pm. The game is also available on Pay-Per-View courtesy of Fast Hockey and a high speed internet connection is required in order to view the game.
Please click on the link below for a complete boxscore of Saturday's game.