AMARILLO, TX – The last seven games for the Amarillo Bulls have not helped them in their quest to remain close in the South Division playoff fight.
The visiting Odessa Jackalopes fired three third period goals less than four minutes apart to snap a tight 1-1 game and beat the Bulls 5-2 at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on New Year’s Eve.
The Bulls had nearly 40 shots on goal through 40 minutes of hockey but a bad stretch of turnovers in their defensive zone would give the Jackalopes all the fuel for their offense and ignite the attack. Alex Borowiec and Billy Duma tallied for the Bulls in the loss. Trevor Micucci started his first game for Amarillo after being acquired in a trade with the Minnesota Wilderness. The Buffalo NY native played well early on but didn’t get a lot of support from his new teammates in the final 20 minutes.
Special teams got the Amarillo Bulls off to a good start in the first period as Brett Abdelnour and Alex Borowiec raced up the ice on a two on one break shorthanded. Borowiec finished off the play with a nice move past goaltender Alex Camarre. In the final minute of the first period Odessa pulled even as Matt Brown scored on a quick shot from the slot area. Amarillo outshot Odessa 16-6 in the first frame.
It was all Amarillo in the second period as Rocky Russo’s charges fired 23 shots on goal but couldn’t sneak one past Camarre. The Bulls thought they took the lead in the second period when Gleb Murtazin scored at the side of the net, but the referee disallowed the goal because of goalie interference.
Things quickly became unraveled in the third period for the Bulls as Odessa went work with a goal in the first 65 seconds when Rick Carballo scored off a hard rebound off the boards. Less than three minutest later the Jacks went up by two goals as Evan Somoza wired a shot past Micucci for his third goal of the weekend. Not long after that Matt Brown converted a turnover and scored to make it 4-1.
The Bulls made things interesting late in the third period and it was special teams again that cued some hope for the fans. Billy Duma scored on a wild scramble in front of the net from Simon Morberg and Jason Brancheau. With the Bulls pressing down the stretch to make it a one goal lead, Viktor Johansson scored on a deflection for the visitors to round out the scoring.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Odessa Jackalopes 47-31. There were a combined 11 power plays in the game with the Bulls netting the lone marker.
It is an off-weekend for the Amarillo Bulls and will not return to action until Friday, Jan. 12 and Saturday, Jan. 13 when they face the Corpus Christi IceRays at American Bank Center at 7 pm. Fans can tune into the action live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, online at www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV with Hockey TV beginning 20 minutes before the puck is dropped with pre-game coverage.
Hockey returns to the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Jan. 18, 19, and 20th when the Bulls host the Odessa Jackalopes in the next three games of the New Avenues I-27 Freeway Championship Series.
Saturday is Star Wars Night Presented by Comic Con in support of 24 Hours in the Canyon. The Bulls will wear special jerseys and live auction will follow immediately after the game on the Saturday night.
Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket locations including United Supermarkets or online at www.amarillobulls.com and www.panhandletickets.com.