BLAINE, MN – The Amarillo Bulls and the Coulee Region Chill played a terrific contest to close the North American Hockey League Showcase on Saturday night.
The Bulls rallied from one goal down in the final seconds only to fall in a shootout to the Chill 5-4. Amarillo missed a chance to clinch the NAHL Showcase by not winning in the last game. The Janesville Jets were declared champions based on a better goal differential and going undefeated.
The Bulls closed out the Showcase with a mark of 3-0-1 but remain alone in first place in the NAHL’s South Division.
It was a tough opening period for the Amarillo Bulls as they fell behind 3-0 despite outshooting the Coulee Region Chill 16-14. Two of the goals were scored via the power play and the other was on even strength.
The second period was a complete reversal of the first as the Bulls rallied with three straight goals, including two via the power play. The Bulls clearly had the momentum on their side and seem to have the Chill on their heels.
Matt Johnson started the offense with a goal 44 seconds into the stanza. That was followed up by back-to-back goals by TJ Sarcona. The first at 7:47 and the second one was almost four minutes later on five on three.
The third period saw Coulee Region take a 4-3 advantage midway through the stanza. The Bulls kept battling and fighting and in the final seconds, John Gustafsson stuffed home a goal from Matt Johnson and Brooks Behling.
In overtime the Bulls had the majority of the scoring chances, but couldn’t get one past Aaron Davis.
The shootout featured more drama as John Gustafsson scored to pull the Bulls even. After that, Coulee Region scored twice to win the contest.
Goaltender Mike Taffe took the loss in net for Amarillo, while Aaron Davis posted the win.