WICHITA FALLS, TX – The Amarillo Bulls put up a hard resistance and played their hearts out against the Wichita Falls Wildcats on Tuesday night at Kay Yeager Coliseum. The Bulls couldn’t hold on to a 2-1 third period lead and dropped a 4-2 decision to the Wildcats to close out three consecutive games against their closest rivals. The loss pushed the Bulls winless streak to five games with two home games to come this weekend against the Odessa Jackalopes.
It was a night of firsts for Addison Runey and Luke Novak who each tallied their first North American Hockey League goals. Anton Martinsson played well and took the loss in goal, turning aside 34 of 38 shots he faced.
The Bulls worked hard right from the opening face-off, playing nearly a complete game, and had their opponents on the run and in retreat most for most of the contest. The visitors could only manage a couple of goals behind goaltender Austin Shaw who played well.
A productive opening 20 minutes produced 15 shots on goal period by the Amarillo Bulls on goaltender Austin Shaw. The best chances were by forward Cody Gylling, Will Harrison and Mitchell McPherson. Forward Elijiah Barriga had a terrific chance as well when his wraparound was denied by Shaw. There was no scoring with the Bulls outshooting the Cats 15-5.
The second period was dominated by special teams and the Bulls were busy killing off four penalties, including a five on three. The Wildcats scored a late goal to grab a 1-0 lead when their shot from the outside went off a Bulls’ player and in behind Anton Martinsson. The Wildcats outshot the Bulls 19-9 in the second period.
The Bulls came out firing in the third period and we rewarded for the hard work. Luke Novak broke through the Wildcats defense and scored on a breakaway as his shot beat Shaw through the legs. Eight seconds later, Addision Runey scored his first in the NAHL when he followed up a rebound to give Amarillo the lead.
That one goal margin held up until the midway mark of the period when the Wildcats tied the game on a play in front of the net. With less than five minutes left in regulation, Wichita Falls took the lead on a rush up the ice and a shot that found the top corner. The Bulls pulled their goaltender in the final minute looking for the equalizer, but the hometown Wildcats scored into an empty net.
The Amarillo Bulls were outshot by the Wichita Falls Wildcats 38-32 including 14-8 in the final stanza. There were 11 combined power plays with the Wildcats going 1 for 6 and the Bulls for 0 for 5.
It’s a busy weekend at home for the Amarillo Bulls with two games at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. The Bulls will host the Odessa Jackalopes on Saturday at 7 pm and Sunday at 6 o’clock. Saturday is Military Appreciation Night and the first 500 fans receive a Bulls’ Camo Hat. All active Military and Veterans receive a free ticket. Military family members are able to take advantage of a ticket special of two for $10. Sunday is the fifth annual Sonic Sunday with free tickets to be handed out to fans at the Civic Center Box Office starting at 4 pm.
To purchase single game tickets, group tickets or 10 game flex packs call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122 or visit 301 South Polk in the Amarillo Building. Additional tickets can be picked up at the Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets including United Supermarkets or online at www.panhandletickets.com.