AMARILLO, TX – A close game through 40 minutes of hockey got away from the Amarillo Bulls in the third period on Saturday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
The visiting Corpus Christi IceRays scored four goals in the third period and went on to beat the Amarillo Bulls 5-3. The IceRays held a 1-0 advantage for the first 39 minutes only to see Amarillo tie the game late in the second period and then tally another to start the third to make it 2-1. Corpus Christi fired off four goals in a row including two three-minutes apart.
“It’s a 60 minute hockey game and you can’t play for 20 minutes and expect to win,” said Bulls Head Coach Rocky Russo. “We had poor work ethic and compete level tonight and our home fans deserve better than that. A .500 hockey team wins one and then loses one and that is what we are and we have to get better.”
Scoring for Amarillo were Alex Peterson with two, while Jon Russell added a single. Jason Grande took the loss in goal despite playing well. All of the Bulls goals were noted on the power play and were unable to net anything playing five on five. Garrett Hallford scored twice for the visitors, while Alexsi Peltonen, Josh Tripp and Pavel Koreshkov had the others. Goaltender Chad Veltri kicked out 35 of 38 shots he faced including 15 alone in the middle stanza.
It was the IceRays that came out strong in the opening period giving the Amarillo Bulls all they could handle and had seven of the first eight shots on goal. Garrett Hallford gave Corpus Christi 1-0 lead with a shot that eluded goaltender Jason Grande. The second half of the first was much better for Amarillo getting 11 of the last 15 shots. Most of those opportunities came as a result of a five-on-three power play. Corpus Christi outshot Amarillo 12-11 in the first period.
The Bulls came out with a better work ethic in the second period and one of the best scoring chances early came on a partial breakaway by Jason Brancheau who was robbed by the glove of goaltender Chad Veltri. Near the end of the second period and with the Bulls pressing on a power play Steven Ipri raced in over the blue line and put a backhand shot off the pad of Veltri and there to scoop up the loose rebound and put in behind the goaltender was Alex Peterson. The Bulls outshot Corpus Christi 15-8 in that exciting second period.
An early power-play to start the third period gave the Amarillo Bulls the lead as a Brendan Michealian fired a shot off of Alex Peterson and behind the goaltender. Steven Ipri added an assist on the play. After that turnovers and difficulty clearing the puck out of their own zone allowed the IceRays to tie the game up and eventually take the lead for good. Forward Alexsi Peltonen’s goal on the power play tied the game at two, and thenn Pavel Koreshkov and Josh Tripp scored three minutes apart. Tripp’s to goal was scored on a two on one break up the ice. Hallford second goal was scored when he banked the puck off a Bulls defenseman and into the net. The Bulls were not done yet and thanks to a late power-play made the game interesting. Jon Russell scored his sixth of the season tipping home a shot from Marcus Chorney and Brendan Michealian.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Corpus Christi IceRays 38-29. There were a total of 13 power plays with the bulls scoring three times and the visitors just once.
A four-game homestand for the Amarillo Bulls tomorrow night (Sunday) at 7 PM when they face the Corpus Christi Ice Rays once again at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amaral Civic Center. It’s Faith and Family night presented by Jimmy Fincher Body Shop and there will be one dollar hotdogs. Troops and Packs can continue to book discounted tickets for the second Scout night as well. Tickets are available at the Bulls office located at 301 S. Polk or by calling 242-1122 between noon and 4 PM. Fans can also pick up tickets at the Civic Center box office and all Panhandle ticket locations including online at www.Panhandletickets.com.