WICHITA FALLS, TX – The Amarillo Bulls and the Wichita Falls Wildcats went head-to-head in an early first place showdown in the NAHL on Saturday night, and it took another shootout to decide the outcome.
Drew Allen netted the winner in sudden death shooters as the Wildcats nipped the Bulls 3-2. The loss ended Amarillo’s three-game winning streak, while Wichita Falls extended their unbeaten record to 6-0-0.
The Bulls dominated the first 40 minutes of hockey creating lots of scoring chances but couldn’t solve Wildcats goaltender Eric Garavaglia.
It was a fast skating and exciting third period of play. Wichita Falls took a 2-1 lead on a turnover near the neutral zone. About five minutes later, the Bulls tied the game when Shawn Serapilia poked the puck under a sprawling goaltender at 6:39. In overtime, the Bulls had to kill off a penalty and Wildcats were denied on several opportunities by goaltender Nikfor Szczerba.
In the shootout each team scored once with Mitch Rogge netting Amarillo’s marker. It went to sudden death shooters when Allen scored on Wichita Falls’ first attempt.
The Amarillo Bulls had a fast start in the opening period and created several scoring chances that were turned aside by the Wildcats goaltender. The Bulls opened the scoring at the 15:39 mark of the period when Cody Freeman banked a shot off the Wichita Falls defenseman into the net. Joe Kozlak added an assist on the goal.
Amarillo outshot Wichita Falls 14-12 in the first period.
In the second period, the Bulls dominated the play and had a 5 on 3 power play chance and a later a 5-4 but couldn’t capitalize. The Wildcats would tie the game up on a shorthanded goal by Nick Marsh who stole the puck from a Bulls’ defenseman.
The Wichita Falls Wildcats outshot the Amarillo Bulls 35-34 in the contest. There were 14 power plays with seven going to each side.
The Amarillo Bulls close out a busy weekend of hockey on Sunday when they host the Corpus Christi Ice Rays at 6 pm at The Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. Tickets are available at all Panhandle Ticket Outlets including United Supermarkets or on line at www.amarillobulls.com. Fans can call 806-242-1122 to order single game tickets and group tickets.
Fans can listen to the game live on ESPN 1440 beginning with the Bulls Warm Up Show at 5:45 pm. Denis J. Puska calls all the exciting action at 6 pm. The game is also available on Fast Hockey for just $6.95. The webcast can be accessed by going to www.amarillobuls.com.
FINAL – SHOOTOUT
NAHL 1ST 2ND 3RD OT SO TOTAL
— — — — — —–
Amarillo 1 0 1 0 0 2
Wichita Falls 0 1 1 0 1 3
AMA – Cody Freeman (Joe Kozlak, Zack Smoot) 15:39
WFS – (SH) Nick Marsh 17:00
WFS – Drew Allen 1:32
AMA – Shawn Serapilia (Dan Sherer) 6:39
WFS – Drew Allen
POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: AMA – 0 OF 7, WFS – 0 OF 7.
SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD OT SO TOTAL
— — — — — —–
AMA 14 11 9 0 0 34
WFS 12 4 9 9 1 35
GOALIES: AMA – Nikifor Szczerba
WFS – Eric Garavaglia
OFFICIALS: REF – Andrew Suhovic
LIN – Ravjit Chhabra, Justin Bell