AMARILLO, TX – A young Amarillo Bulls team gave the faithful a hardworking effort on Saturday night in the team’s only Pre-Season game prior to the start of the regular season in seven days. However, a late third period rally fell short and the Bulls dropped a 2-1 decision in a shootout to the Odessa Jackalopes at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
After falling behind 1-0 early in the first period, the Bulls saved the best for last firing the equalizer with the goaltender pulled in the last 42 seconds. Newcomer Johan Lundgren lifted the puck over goaltender Joe Morgan to tie the game and force overtime and then a shootout. That was the first opportunity for fans to see the new NAHL rules for extra time that featured 3-on-3 play, and then a shootout of three players aside.
Taylor Hall, who assisted on the tying goal for the Bulls, scored in the shootout. Odessa tied the session and then won it in the first round of sudden death. Anton Martinsson and Jacob Weatherly split time in goal. Weatherly surrendered the two goals in the shootout.
The Amarillo Bulls got off to a good start against the rival Jackalopes with some early pressure but unable to push the puck past goaltender Dean Shatzer. Nick Santoro and Brady Crabtree both had good chances near the front of the net.
Odessa netted the game’s first goal midway through the opening period when a shot from the point eluded goaltender Anton Martinsson. The Bulls again had pressure in the final six minutes as George Mika and Liam Ferguson raced in on goal but were unsuccessful. Odessa outshot Amarillo 16-11 in the first period.
The second period featured lots of neutral zone play for both teams as the goaltenders were not kept busy. The teams combined for nine shots on goal with the Jackalopes maintaining the lead in that department. Liam Ferguson and George Mika had the Bulls best chances but were turned away by Joe Morgan. There was a fight in the middle stanza featuring Taylor Gatto of Odessa and Jacob Nitsche that got the fans excited.
The Odessa Jackalopes outshot the Amarillo Bulls 28-25. Neither team could score on the power play in the contest.
The sixth season of Amarillo Bulls Hockey faces off next Saturday, Sept. 12 at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center at 7 pm against the Odessa Jackalopes. There will be $1 hot dogs. Tickets are just $5 for Red and Silver Sections; $7.50 for Glass and Pit Sections. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets, including United Supermarkets or online at www.amarillobulls.com.