BLAINE, MN – The Amarillo Bulls collected five out of a possible eight points at the North American Hockey League Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota.
The Bulls offense ran into a hot goaltender and fell 3-2 in overtime to the much improved Northeast Generals on the final day of the event to finish 2-1-1.
Steven Rex and Jon Russell tallied for the Bulls, while Alexei Masanko took the loss. The Bulls held a 1-0 lead heading into the third period only to see Northeast rally with two goals to take the lead. It took a Russell goal in the final 64 seconds of regulation to tie the game only to see the Generals score in the first 20 seconds of overtime.
The Generals along with the South Division Shreveport Mudbugs and the Philadelphia Rebels all finished the four day event with unbeaten records of 4-0.
The Bulls and the Generals were scoreless after the first period, combining for 15 shots as both teams each had good scoring chances. Alex Truscott fired the puck from an off-angel that gave the Generals goaltender David Fessenden some difficulty.
Steven Rex gave Amarillo a 1-0 lead at the 12:10 mark of the opening period when he deflected home a shot from Brendan Michaelian at the point. The play was set up by some long offensive zone time for the Bulls. Rocky Russo’s charges had the better of the territorial play in the second period with some quality scoring chances including several power plays. The shots favored Amarillo 20-7 in that period
In the third period, the Bulls failed the clear the puck out of their own end and that allowed Northeast to apply pressure and eventually score as Ryan Rowland found the back of the net with a good shot. Just before the Generals took the lead Alexi Masanko, who was making his NAHL debut, came up with his best save of the game stretching out his right pad to rob the opposition. Four minutes later, the East Division Generals made it 2-1 when Mike Eagen beat goaltender Masanko.
Late in the game, the Bulls were busy with pressure looking to get the equalizer. A heads up play by Alex Peterson who fired the puck down the ice during a line change led to the Bulls goal. John Russell was waiting for the puck and was able to fire a shot past the stick side of goaltender Fessenden.
Thirteen seconds into overtime, the Bulls allowed the Northeast players to gain the blue line and Brady Gaudette scored on a shot from Mike Egan and Matthew Weisner. Egan figured in all three of the Generals goals.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Northeast Generals 37-22 including 9-4 in the third period.
Hockey is back at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Friday, Sept. 29 and Saturday, Sept. 30 when the Bulls host the defending Robertson Cup National Champion Lone Star Brahmas at 7 pm. Friday is College Night with Discounted Tickets available.
Fans can purchase tickets to both games at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket locations including United Supermarkets or by calling 1-806-242-1122.