AMARILLO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls hope that they can learn from their disappointing opening weekend on home ice and use it to propel them forward to a successful rest of the season.
The Bulls managed just one point following a 3-2 overtime loss to the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees on Saturday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. Mitchell Vanderburgh tied the game for the Bulls 2-2 late in the third period, but Rio Grande Valley took advantage of one mistake in overtime and netted the game winning marker. Brady Crabtree had the other Amarillo goal that came in the opening period. Jacob Weatherly took loss in goal. The Bulls fired 36 shots on rookie goaltender Ben Johansson who posted his first win in the NAHL.
Brady Crabtree gave the Bulls a 1-0 lead just seven minutes into the game when he scooped up a loose rebound and found the back of the net. Elijiah Barriga and Ruslan Rakhmatov provided assists on the play. Six minutes later, the Killer Bees pulled even when they capitalized on a turnover inside the Bulls’ zone. The Killer Bees outshot the Bulls 10-8 in the first period.
The second period featured a line melee after forward Connor Wood was hit from behind in the corner. That incident seemed to fire up the Bulls as they pushed forward but unable to beat goaltender Ben Johansson. The Bulls were outshot by the Killer Bees 13-10 in the stanza.
Rio Grande Valley took the lead 2-1 early in the third when they scored on a breakaway. The Bulls pressed looking for the equalizer and were finally rewarded for their hard work. Mitchell Vanderburgh tipped home a shot from Mike Damien Roberts Smits to tie the game. Cody Gylling missed an opportunity to give the Bulls the lead late in the period when his shot rang off the cross bar.
In overtime it was the Bulls that came out flying and nearly won the game but Crabtree’s attempt was stopped Johansson. Just a few minutes later the Killer Bees raced up the ice on an odd-man rush and scored to win the game.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees 36-32 including 18-9 in the third period. The two teams combined for 107 minutes in penalties and 13 power plays but no power play goals.
It’s on the road next weekend for the Amarillo Bulls as they face Topeka RoadRunners on Friday and Saturday at 7 pm at Kansas Expo Center Landon Arena. Fans can tune into the games live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV courtesy Fast Hockey, beginning with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 6 pm. Denis J. Puska has the hard hitting action at 7 pm.
Hockey is back at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Friday, Oct. 10 when the Bulls host the Wichita Falls Wildcats at 7 pm. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets. For further information on Group Rates, Full or Half Season Tickets as well as 10 Game Flex Packs, call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122 or visit 301 South Polk in the Amarillo Building.