AMARILLO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls ran into a stern test on Saturday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
Two special-teams goals were the difference as a Bulls third-period rally fell short in a 2-1 loss at the hands of the defending South Division Champion Lone Star Brahmas. The Bulls record fell to 1-1, while it was the Brahmas first game of the season.
The first Brahmas goal was scored shorthanded just past the midway point of the second period, while the second goal was scored on a five-minute major power play to start the third period. Tyler Harkins pulled the Bulls to within one when he netted a marker on a delay penalty a short time later. An attempt to tie the game with the net empty in the final minute failed for the Bulls. For the second straight game, goaltender Anton Martinsson faced 40 shots and stopped 38 of them. Most coming from outside of the blueline as Bulls kept the Brahmas from setting up shop in front.
It was a scoreless opening 20 minutes of play as the teams combined for 15 shots on goal. The Brahmas had the majority of the opportunities that were turned aside by Martinsson. The Bulls best attempt came when Johan Lundgren found Joey Molinaro in front who couldn’t connect.
One of the bright spots in the Bulls’ game on Saturday was their special teams as they killed off numerous penalties including a five-on-three. That momentum carried over to a power play attempt of the Bulls’ own a short time later. Lone Star quashed any type of energy created by that opportunity scoring off a turnover. It was a tough 2nd period for the Bulls as their offence just managed one shot on goal.
The Brahmas extended their lead to 2-0 on a power play goal to begin the third period. Three minutes later, the Bulls cycled the puck well on a delayed penalty call and were rewarded for their hard work. Forward Tyler Harkins scored on an extra attacker from Phil Fromberger and Trent Dillinger at 4:36.
The Bulls had a power play attempt in the final three minutes of regulation but failed to gain any traction. The goaltender was pulled in the last minute in a desperate attempt to tie the game up. However, the Bulls couldn’t net the equalizer.
The Lone Star Brahmas outshot the Amarillo Bulls 40-15 including 15-10 in the final stanza.
It’s off to the North American Hockey League Showcase for the Amarillo Bulls with their first game on Wednesday at 7:30 pm against the Coulee Region Chill. The Bulls will then play the defending National Champion Minnesota Wilderness, the Minot Minotauros and the Aston Rebels. All games can be heard live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, online at www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV Courtesy of Fast Hockey.
The Amarillo Bulls return to the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Friday, Oct. 16 and Saturday, Oct. 17 at 7 pm versus the Corpus Christi IceRays at 7 pm. The Friday game is Family Fun Night while Saturday is Pink In The Rink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, or by calling 806-242-1122. Additionally, tickets can also be purchased at the Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets including United Supermarkets. For further information on Group Rates, Season Tickets or 10-Game Flex Packs call 242-1122.