WICHITA FALLS, TX – The Amarillo Bulls surrendered two goals over the final six minutes of the third period, and dropped a 6-4 decision to the Wichita Falls Wildcats on Saturday night at Kay Yeager Coliseum.
The loss dropped the Bulls all-time exhibition schedule record to 3-4 with one more game to come prior to the start of the regular season that will be played against the Coulee Region Chill in Wisconsin next weekend.
The Bulls trailed by a pair of one-goal and two-goal deficits throughout the game. In two instances, they were able to tie the contest at 3-3 and later 4-4. Brady Ferguson, Roman Ammirato, Mike Davis and Kyle Gattelaro netted goals for the Bulls in the loss.
“Wichita Falls did a good job of holding us to a low amount of shots in the first and second periods,” said Bulls Head Coach Dennis Williams. “People don’t judge warm-ups, but I do. The only time I may come out and see what’s going on and I we warmed up very lethargic and they thought it was going to be a walk in the park.
“It didn’t turn out our way and they were the better hockey team. Their goalie made saves when we needed them.”
Williams said as the team gets ready to head to the North American Hockey League Showcase, they will need to tweak a few things.
“Our power play will have to be a lot better this time of year,” he said. “The penalty kill was decent but we gave up two shorthanded goals and that can’t happen. Our team has to realize that this is a fast paced league down here and it’s not an easy division to play in nor team to play for. The South Division and the Amarillo Bulls show that they move a lot of players on to college.”
Both teams added more regulars to their line-ups for the game tonight and it showed with the pace and flow on the ice. It was the Wildcats that capitalized early on a Bulls breakdown to take a 1-0 advantage. There was just one power play and eight shots on goal in the opening period. The Bulls were outshot 5-3 in the first stanza.
The second period was penalty filled with several altercations and it also featured four total goals.
After the Wildcats extended their lead to 2-0, the Bulls got on the board when Brady Ferguson wired a low shot past the goaltender to cut the deficit. A power play marker gave Wichita Falls another two goal lead at 3-1, but it wasn’t long before the Bulls offense caught fire again. Roman Ammirato fired a shorthanded goal in the top shelf to make it 3-2.
The third period saw a five goal explosion between the two teams. Mike Davis tied the game 3-3 when he backhanded a second effort into the net. Five minutes later, the Wildcats regained a one goal lead only to see the Bulls get the equalizer when Kyle Gattelaro scored on a great play.
In a span of two minutes, the Wildcats fired two goals including a controversial one to take a 6-4 lead and round out the scoring. The eventual game winner appeared to have hit the post and waived off initially by the referee, but after a conference with the goal judge the call was changed.
The Amarillo Bulls will head to the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota for their opening game of the regular season on Wednesday, Sept. 18 against the Johnstown Tomahawks. Face-off is set for 8:15 pm and fans can tune into the action live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, www.amarillobulls.com and watch on PPV courtesy of Fast Hockey. Denis J. Puska has the Bulls Warm Up Show at 8 pm.
There is still time to purchase your 2013-2014 full or partial season tickets and have the same seat for all 28 home games. Prices start at just $240 and for further information, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122 or visit the office located at 301 South Polk in the Amarillo Building.