AMARILLO, TX – With just four weeks remaining in the North American Hockey League’s regular season, the Amarillo Bulls still find themselves right in the middle of the playoff race, something that hasn’t happened in nearly four years.
The Bulls posted a 4-1 loss on Saturday night to the Corpus Christi IceRays, but then rallied in a 4-3 overtime loss in Odessa on Sunday afternoon in the club’s final game-in-hand on the opposition. Rocky Russo’s charges trail Corpus Christi by eight points for the fourth and final playoff spot in the South Division. The two teams will meet in a big showdown on Friday and Saturday at American Bank Center in Corpus Christi at 7 pm.
ODESSA JACKALOPES 4 – AMARILLO BULLS 3, OVERTIME
The Amarillo Bulls rallied from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits and managed to settle for a point versus the Odessa Jackalopes in the final game of the New Avenues I-27 Freeway Series. The Jackalopes claimed the first year belt with a 4-3 win in overtime as Zac Hermann scored with 1:45 to go in the extra session.
After falling behind 2-0, Nick Griebenow scored for the Bulls off a feed from Nick Stuckless and Jared Domin early in the second period.
The Bulls put their rally caps on in the third period, and went to work to force overtime with two goals in the final five minutes of regulation. Amarillo peppered Odessa goaltender Alex Camarre with 17 shots and missed on several Grade A chances.
Nick Stuckless deflected home a shot from Marcus Chorney and Stephen Rex. The Bulls special teams tied the game thanks to a late power play opportunity. Captain Austin O’Rourke scored on a play in front of the net from Jared Domin and Jason Brancheau with 2:07 left in regulation.
The two teams went to overtime and it was Zack Hermann who raced in over the blueline and fired a screen shot past the glove of Jason Grande. The Amarillo Bulls were outshot by the Odessa Jackalopes 45-36.
CORPUS CHRISTI ICERAYS 4 – AMARILLO BULLS 1
A crowd of better than 3,000 was on hand at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center for Amarillo Youth Hockey Retro Jersey Night.
There were 1960s cars on the concourse and the Bulls were wearing special jerseys in honor of the Amarillo Wranglers who won the Southwest Hockey League Championship in the 1960s. a live jersey auction took place after the game.
The visiting Corpus Christi IceRays scored goals early in the first and second periods and held off the Bulls 4-1. Jayson Dimizio scored twice for the IceRays, while goaltender Chad Veltri stopped 41 of 42 shots he faced including some Grade A opportunities throughout the final 40 minutes.
The Amarillo Bulls were able to break through scoring in the third period when Jared Domin fired a high shot under the cross bar just after the a power play had concluded. Nikita Sokolov and Alex Peterson grabbed assists on the play. Jason Grande started in goal and was replaced by Trevor Micucci who played well and the kept the Bulls in the game.
FINAL TWO HOME GAMES EASTER WEEKEND
The Amarillo Bulls play their final two regular season home games on Friday, March 30 and Saturday, Mar. 31 at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center against the Topeka RoadRunners at 7 pm. Friday features the Family Four Pack for $44 and the Bring A Bud for $22. Saturday is Fan Appreciation 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.panhandletickets.com.