AMARILLO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls had what could have been a perfect weekend spoiled at the hands of the Corpus Christi IceRays on Saturday night. Two goals in the shootout proved to be the difference as the Bulls dropped a 4-3 decision to the IceRays at the Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
Despite the shootout loss, the Bulls collected one point and moved into sole possession of second place in the North American Hockey League’s South Division by a point over the Texas Tornado. Amarillo was able to extend its points collection streak to six games.
The two teams traded goals and punches in the opening 20 minutes of hockey. A fight started the game, but after that Amarillo and Corpus Christi were able to settle down and play some terrific hockey.
The IceRays notched the game’s first goal via the power play, but the Bulls followed up with the equalizer in the final five minutes when Cody Freeman broke through and scored on a terrific shot to tie the game.
The goals came fast and furious in the second period with four goals being scored in a span of six minutes. The Bulls took a 2-1 lead when Zack Smoot scored from Derek Hills and Zane Popilock at 2:28. The IceRays scored the next two goals less than a minute apart to take a 3-2 lead and chase starter Nikifor Szczerba who was replaced by Gregg Gruel. The Bulls tied the game up when Mitch Rogge scored from Brooks Behling at 6:25.
There was no scoring the remainder of the second and on through the third period. The Bulls had three 5 on 3 power play opportunities but didn’t score.
In the shootout, the IceRays posted the lone two goals as goaltender Phoenix Copley won his fifth in a shootout this season. The Bulls outshot the IceRays 48-29 including 34-23 over the final 40 minutes.
The Amarillo Bulls return to action next Thursday night when they visit the Texas Tornado at 7:30 pm at the Dr. Pepper Star Center in Frisco. Fans can tune into the game on ESPN1440 and www.amarillobulls.com beginning with the pre-game show coverage at 7:15 pm. Denis J. Puska has all of the hard-hitting action at 7:30 pm.
Hockey returns to the Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on March 11 when the Bulls host the New Mexico Mustangs at 7 pm. It starts a three game home stand for the Bulls that will see them play the Topeka Road Runners on Saturday, Mar. 12 and Sunday March 13 at 7 pm and 6 pm, respectively.
Tickets are available at all Panhandle Ticket Outlets including United Supermarkets, Civic Center Box Office or online at www.amarillobulls.com. For further information on group tickets or playoff tickets, please call the Bulls office at 806-242-1122.