AMARILLO, TX – For the first time since October of last season the Amarillo Bulls posted back to back wins on home ice. Three third-period goals including two on the power play fueled the Bulls past the Wichita Falls Wildcats 6-3 in front of a crowd of over 3,100 on Saturday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
It was a big night for forward Steven Ipri who scored once and added four assists. Other marksmen for the Bulls were Luke Edgerton who had a goal and three assists, while Brey Crowder notched the eventual game winner midway through the third period. Nikita Babintsev had another solid performance in goal for the Bulls stopping 34 of 37 shot faced.
Despite giving up a goal, the Bulls penalty killing was rock solid preventing Wichita Falls from connecting on a five minute power play late in the second period.
A quick start by the visitors had the Amarillo Bulls trailing 1-0 in the first 2:05 of the game as Ryan Burnett scored on a tap in at the side of the net. Just over two minutes later, the Bulls converted on a 2 on 1 break as Steve Ipri passed the puck over to Brendan Walkom who was able to one time a shot just inside the post. The Bulls were outshot badly in the first half of the period 7-1 but then the momentum changed with the Wildcats only managing a 15-6 advantage.
The first 4:06 of the second period was productive for the Amarillo Bulls as they grabbed a two- goal lead thanks to the combination of Steven Irpi, Luke Edgerton and Alex Truscott. Ipri scored on a turnover from Alex Truscott and Luke Edgerton at 1:47 followed by Edgerton’s quick shot from Ipri and Truscott. Wichita Falls pulled to within a goal when Zac Heiser scored from a sharp angle with help from Alexi Poikola, and Ryan Burnett. One of the turning points in period was the Wildcats not being able to score on a five minute power play as forward Jake Nitsche was sent off. Each team had 11 second period shots on goal.
Wichita Falls tied the game 3-3 with just over 4:30 gone in the third period as Jeff Skinner scored from Seamus Donohue and CJ Walker. After that it was all Amarillo as its power play took command. Brey Crowder started the scoring frenzy when he riffled a shot past George McBey at the 9:48 mark from Luke Edgerton and Brendan Michaelian. The Bulls were rewarded with an additional power play and made quick work of the chance. Marcus Chorney scored his first NAHL goal from Steven Ipri and Luke Edgerton.
Down the stretch the Bulls got stronger defensively and scored into an empty net to round out the scoring. Charlie Singerhouse got his third goal of the weekend from Brey Crowder and Steven Ipri.
The Wichita Falls Wildcats outshot the Amarillo Bulls 37-31. The hometown Bulls were 2 for 3 on the power play while the Wildcats were 1 for 4.
It’s an off-weekend next Friday and Saturday for the Bulls and don’t return to action on Friday, Feb. 24 and Saturday, Feb. 25 when they visit the Wichita Falls Wildcats at 7 pm. Fans can tune into the action live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, online at www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV with Hockey TV beginning with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 6:40 pm.