BLAINE, MN – Being resilient and find a way to win early in the season can be huge for a sports team.
The Amarillo Bulls demonstrated some of that team mental toughness by holding off the Brookings Blizzard 5-4 on Wednesday night to open up the 2018 North American Hockey League Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota on Wednesday night in Primetime.
The Bulls held an early 4-1 lead after the first period only to see the Blizzard rally with two in the second and another late in the third to climb back into the game. A strong final three minutes including a big penalty kill gave the Bulls enough push to win the game.
David Ojamae, Brett Abdelour, Alex Peterson, Chris Conway and Jake Willets tallied for the Bulls in the contest while Jason Grande posted the win in goal. Jason Brancheau and Brenden Datema each picked up two assists.
Scoring for Brookings were Dylan Shuett, Sam Antenucci, Tom Magnavite, and Joe Alexander. Alex Mosquera took the loss in goal, but was replaced by Jack Caruso who played well and kept his team in the game.
It was an explosive start to the game for the Bulls as they tallied two goals in the first 2:43 of the contest. David Ojamae scored his first NAHL goal from Gabriel Seger and Logan Jenuwine, and then Brett Abdelnour from Jason Brancheau and Brenden Datema. Rocky Russo’s charges were not done as Chris Conway scored with six minutes remaining to make it 3-0. After Brookings scored to trim the deficit to 3-1, Alex Peterson tallied in the final minute to restore a 4-1 lead. The Bulls outshot Brookings 11-6.
The second period was a different story for the Bulls as they surrendered two goals including one shorthanded. Sam Antenucci and then Tom Magnavite, who was able to cut around the Bulls defenseman. Jack Caruso was busy in relief and turned aside all 16 shots the Bulls fired at him.
Special teams gave the Bulls some comfort to start the third period as Jake Willets scored on a shot from the point with help from Ryan Lautenbach and Logan Jenuwine. Brookings made the final five minutes of the game interesting with a goal via the power play. Down the stretch, the Bulls defense was able to prevent their opponent from tying the game.
The Amarillo Bulls face the Chippewa Steel tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon at 4 o’clock at the NAHL Showcase. Fans can tune into the action live on 107.1 Nash Icon, www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV with Hockey TV beginning with the Fit Omni Warm Up Show at 3:35 pm.
Hockey is back at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Friday, Sept. 28 and Saturday, Sept. 29 when the Bulls host the newly named Topeka Pilots at 7 pm. Friday is Good Neighbor Night Presented by Jason Chafe State Farm. 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.amarillobulls.com.