CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – The clock couldn’t run out quick enough in overtime for the Amarillo Bulls on Friday night at American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, TX. It’s that one second that will leave a bad taste in the mouth for the Bulls as they surrendered a goal and dropped a 3-2 decision to the IceRays, settling for one point in the two games.
However, that single point and the loss by the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees in regulation pulled Amarillo to within one of the sixth and final playoff spot in the South Division with a game in hand.
Will Harrison and Joey DiBenedetto netted the goals for the Bulls which led 2-0 early in the second period but couldn’t contain the IceRays. Jacob Weatherly played well in goal stopping 30 of 33 shots faced. The Bulls had two goals called back with the first one the officials said that the puck stayed out and didn’t cross the line. The second was waived off because the net came off.
It was a great opening period for the Amarillo Bulls as they worked hard despite being short defensemen due to illness and injury. Amarillo was down to four defenseman for the entire game and they worked hard.
The Bulls scored the game’s first goal when Joe Leonidas’ shot was deflected home by Will Harrison at the 13:52 mark. Cody Gylling also provided an assist on the play. Goaltender Jacob Weatherly played strong making some easy saves to give his charges a fighting chance and to protect the lead. Each team had eight shots on goal in the first period.
The power play helped the Amarillo Bulls get their second goal as Joey DiBenedetto deflected home a shot from AJ Duggan and Kyle Hartman to make it 2-0. That goal was scored 58 seconds into the middle stanza. The IceRays broke through with an even strength goal just past the six minute mark. The first of the two Bulls’ goals were called back when Cody Gylling appeared to have scored but the officials said that the puck didn’t cross the line. Amarillo outshot Corpus Christi 12-9 in the period.
Corpus Christi tied the game up early in the third period when a shot from just inside the blue line beat goaltender Jacob Weatherly. A short time later, Will Harrison broke in on a breakaway and his attempt lay right near the goal line. The Bulls appeared to have pushed the puck across the line on the follow up, but the referee waived it off saying the net was off its pegs.
It was a frenetic overtime with both teams pushing hard. In the dying seconds the IceRays kept the play moving and a final shot near the face-off circle found the back of the net with one second remaining to win the game.
The Corpus Christi IceRays outshot the Amarillo Bulls 33-28. There were six total power plays with the Bulls going 2 for 3 and the IceRays were 0 for 3.
In just seven days the Amarillo Bulls return to home ice at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center to face the Lone Star Brahmas on Friday, Dec. 19 and Saturday, Dec. 20 at 7 pm. Friday features special appearances by The Grinch and Cindy Lou Who, and fans are encouraged to wear their ugliest Christmas Sweater. The worst sweater could win a prize. Saturday is the annual Toys For Tots Teddy Bear Toss and fans can bring a Teddy Bear or Stuffed Animal to the game and when the Bulls score their first goal, throw the toys onto the ice.
Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, or call 242-1122. There is a new $5 section that will allow fans to purchase a limited amount of tickets for that area. That offer is good only at the Bulls Office only. Additional tickets can be purchased Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets, including United Supermarkets or online at www.panhandletickets.com.