AMARILLO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls ran into a hot goaltender on Saturday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. Tomas Vomacka stopped 43 of 44 shots he faced (90 of 94 in two games) and his teammates the Corpus Christi IceRays provided plenty of support in a 6-1 triumph in the final meeting of the regular season between the two teams.
The IceRays moved four points and wins ahead of the Bulls for the fourth and final playoff spot in the South Division. The Bulls are now off for nine days with their next game not until January 31st in Odessa to face the Jackalopes.
A crowd of more than 3,200 fans were at the Amarillo Civic Center for the 2nd annual Star Wars Night to benefit Children’s Miracle Network with help from Yellow City Comic Con. There were concourse booth displays as well as Star Wars Characters and Return of The Jedi star Felix Silla. Following the game a big crowd gathered in The Corral where the 2nd jersey auction of the year raised $15,900 for Children’s Miracle Network.
The Bulls fell behind 2-0 after the first period of play as the visitors jumped out with two goals in the first 10 minutes of play. Cole Gammer deflected home a shot from Cole Filler at the 2:21 mark and then Mason Krueger scored on a second effort on the power play at 11:38. Each team had 12 first period shots.
Amarillo looked to climb back into the game to start the second period and were given a 5 on 3 power play but unable to beat goaltender Tomas Vomacka as the young goaltender came up with some big stops on attempts from George Mika, Luke Edgerton and Steven Irpi. After that penalty kill the IceRays were able to extend their lead to 3-0 when Cody Fleckenstein scored on rocket from just inside the blueline. Corpus Christi netted their fourth goal of the game and 2nd of the period when Trevor Wilhelm netted his first NAHL goal. That chased starter Nikita Babintsev to the bench for Brandon Bussi who took over in goal.
There was a good fight during the period as Captain Matt Nehls squared off with Tucker White. The two threw some good punches that seem to fire up the crowd.
Charlie Singerhouse gave the Bulls some hope when he sent a hard shot towards the IceRays net but Vomacka came up with his best save of the game. The Bulls outshot Corpus Christi 15-11 in the middle stanza.
The visiting IceRays put the game out of reach with two more goals as Matt Novo and Larry Jungwirth found the back of the net. Amarillo finally ended the shutout bid of Tomas Vomacka as George Mika fired a puck off the goal post and into the cage. Phil Fromberger and Charlie Singerhouse assisted on the power play goal.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Corpus Christi IceRays 44-34 including 17-13 in the final 20 minutes.
Hockey returns to the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Friday, Feb. 10 and Saturday, Feb. 11 when the Bulls host the Wichita Falls Wildcats at 7 pm. Friday is First Responders Night Presented By Neighbors. All First Responders can get free tickets, while family members can get discounted tickets. Saturday is Merrick Pet Care night with plenty of pet food to be given away throughout the night. It’s also Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts Weekend as Troop and Pack leaders are invited to bring their Scouts to either contest. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, by calling 242-1122 or visiting www.amarillobulls.com. Fans can also drop by the Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket locations including United Supermarkets or online at www.panhandletickets.com.