CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – The new look Amarillo Bulls played their first game in 11 days, following several different transactions and the arrival of five new players on Friday night at American Bank Center.
The Bulls appeared feisty and an improved work ethic but the end result was still not what they had hoped. The hometown Corpus Christi IceRays fired two early second period goals to break open a close, tight checking game and beat Amarillo 4-1 to increase their lead 4th place lead to 10 points.
Head Coach Rocky Russo had two of the newly acquired players Austin O’Rourke and Josh Deluca along side Alex Peterson and the trio seemed to have plenty of energy throughout the night.
There was no scoring through the first three quarters of the opening stanza as both teams traded scoring chances. The IceRays broke through in the final three minutes when Dakota Concannon scored on a play in front of the net from CJ Regula and Brendan Miller. Each team had eight shots on goal in the first period.
Two goals four minutes apart to begin the second period extended Corpus Christi’s lead to 3-0. Larry Jungwirth scored on some heads-up-play as he shoveled the puck under goaltender Trevor Micucci. A short time later, Rylee St. Onge was set up for a one-timer in the face-off circle. That third goal chased goaltender Micucci in favor of Jason Grande.
The Amarillo Bulls showed much more spunk in the second half of the game and were rewarded for their hard work. Newcomer Josh Deluca finished off a scramble in front of the net from Steven Rex and Aaron Swanson. The Bulls were outshot by Corpus Christi 10-9 in the second period.
It was an all out assault on the net in the third period for the Bulls as they fired 17 shots on goal towards goaltender Jake Acton. However, the California native had an answer for everything the Bulls shot at him. Corpus Christi rounded out the scoring with an empty net goal in the final minute as Larry Jungwirth got his second of the night.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Corpus Christi IceRays 34-22. There was a total of six combined power plays with the Bulls have just one man-advantage in the entire game.
The short two game road swing concludes for the Amarillo Bulls tomorrow (Saturday) night when they face the Corpus Christi IceRays at American Bank Center at 7 pm. Fans can tune into the action live on CBS Sports Radio 1440 and online at www.amarillobulls.com beginning 20 minutes before the puck is dropped. Broadcaster Denis J. Puska did not make the trip to South Texas so those fans who want to watch the Hockey TV Broadcast can tune into the home feed.
Hockey returns to the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Jan. 18, 19, and 20th. The Bulls host the Odessa Jackalopes for the next three games of the New Avenues I-27 Freeway Championship Series.
Saturday is Star Wars Night Presented by Comic Con in support of 24 Hours in the Canyon. The Bulls will wear special 24 hours in the Canyon jerseys and a live auction will follow immediately after the game on Saturday night.
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 and www.panhandletickets.com.