AMARILLO, TX – The number six was a bad omen for the Amarillo Bulls on Friday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
The Bulls surrendered six goals and dropped a 6-2 decision to the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees and fell out of the sixth and final playoff spot in the South Division. That game was the first of four in a row between the two teams. They will meet again Saturday at 7 pm in Amarillo before heading to Rio Grande Valley to continue the match-up late next week.
The visiting Killer Bees took advantage of another bad second period by the Bulls by firing 15 shots and scoring three times. The final two were in the last two minutes, and that was immediately followed by another pair of goals in the first two minutes of the third.
Tristan Rostagno and Brady Crabtree netted goals for Amarillo while Jacob Weatherly took the loss in goal. Weatherly was pulled early in the third period for Anton Martinsson.
It was a feeling out process in the first period between the Amarillo Bulls and the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. Both teams played tight defensively, but appeared nervous. There were a high amount of icing calls and not much flow to play. The Killer Bees shots all came from distance and were easily handled by Jacob Weatherly. The Bulls best chance came on a 2-on-1 from Will Harrison and Trent Dillinger that was broke up by a Bees defenseman. Amarillo was outshot by Rio Grande Valley 9-6.
Another bad second period for the Amarillo Bulls resulted in the visitors scoring three times and controlling the play. The Killer Bees fired their first goal just past the six minute mark of the stanza. The back breaker was two goals in final 2:30 minutes of play, including one in the last five seconds. It got a little chippy in the period as two skirmishes took place, one involving Cody Gylling and another with Joey DiBenedetto. The Killer Bees had the shot total their way 15-4.
The Bulls came out on their heels in the third period and the Killer Bees capitalized by scoring once in the final minute and then another a short time later. Tristan Rostagno got the Bulls on the board when he wired past goaltender Nick Schmit at 8:45. Charlie Combs helped out on the goal with a great pass to Rostagno. Less than a minute later, Brady Crabtree went to work when his sharp-angled shot eluded goaltender Schmitt and it was 5-2. Tristan Rostagno and Ben Jentsch earned assists on the play.
The Killer Bees rounded out the scoring with a goal in the final six minutes. Despite outshooting Rio Grande Valley 18-12 in the third period, the Bulls were still short on that side 36-28.
Each team had five power play opportunities in the game but couldn’t score.
Fans are encouraged to come out and support Back The Badge Night Presented By Crime Stoppers on Saturday at 7 pm. First Responders receive free tickets, while their families can get $7 tickets with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the Sgt. Houston Gass fund. Those tickets must be purchased at the Bulls office between 10 am and 4 pm on Saturday. One lucky child could win a bike from Seven Bar and Grill. Additional tickets can be picked up at the Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets and online at www.panhandletickets.com.