AMARILLO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls gained a split in their two games on home ice over the weekend against the Wichita Falls Wildcats. A three-goal, third-period comeback, propelled the Bulls past the Wildcats 4-3 on Saturday night. Cody Freeman’s two goals were not enough on Friday as the Bulls fell to Wichita Falls 5-2. The Bulls record sits at 13-4-1 for 27 points, and still several games in hand on all teams within the division.
UPCOMING SCHEDULE:There is plenty of Thanksgiving Holiday hockey for the Amarillo Bulls this week as they play three games in four nights. It starts on Wednesday when the Bulls visit the Texas Tornado at Dr. Pepper Star Center, Frisco, TX, at 7:30 pm. The road trip continues with a visit to Kansas Expo Center, in Topeka KS, on Friday and Saturday night as Amarillo takes on the Topeka RoadRunners. Both games face off at 7:05 pm.
BROADCAST INFO: All three games during the week can be heard live on the official flag ship stations of the Bulls, ESPN1440, and www.amarillobulls.comfueled by Sportsjuice. Fans can also catch the action on Pay-Per-View Courtesy of Fast Hockey. Wednesday’s coverage begins with The Bulls Warm Up Show Presented By Wayland Baptist University at 7:15 pm. Friday and Saturday’s games start with the pre-game show at 6:45 pm.
BULLS NEXT HOME GAME:It is a while between home games for the Amarillo Bulls who don’t return to the Bull Pen until Friday, December 17, when they host the Texas Tornado at 7 pm. It’s Teddy Bear Toss night so fans are encouraged to bring a new or gently used Teddy Bear or Stuffed Animal to the game. When the Bulls score their first goal, throw the Teddy Bears and Stuffed Animals onto the ice. The toys will be collected and given to charity. The Bulls will also be wearing their Christmas Jerseys and a live auction follows the game in The Corral with proceeds to benefit Amarillo Youth Hockey.
GOT TICKETS:Tickets to all Amarillo Bulls games are available from a variety of locations including Panhandle Ticket Outlets, United Supermarket locations, Civic Center Box Office or online at www.amarillobulls.com. Fans can also call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122 or stop by 901 South Buchanan, to purchase Single Game Tickets, Flex Packs or inquire about group rates.
SZCZERBA NAMED BULLS PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Goaltender Nikifor Szczerba was named Reid’s Appliance Service Bulls Player of the Month for September and October.The Presentation was made on the ice prior to Friday night’s game versus Wichita Falls.Szczerba was 5-0-1 with a 1.66 Goals Against Average and a .946 Save Percentage during the month of September. He followed that up with a 6-1-1 record in October, a 2.63 Goals Against Average and a .912 Save Percentage.
IMPROVED SPECIAL TEAMS:It was a good weekend for the Amarillo Bulls special team units. The Bulls penalty killing limited a strong Wichita Falls attack to just one goal in 14 attempts. In the last four games, the Bulls have allowed just three power play goals in their last 23 times shorthanded. After being held off the score sheet in the first 16 games, in the shorthanded goal scored department, Cody Freeman finally broke the ice on Friday night when he scored in the third period.
Meantime, the power play has improved in the last three games with four power play goal in 20 opportunities.
STATS ETC:The Amarillo Bulls win on Saturday night was their third of the season when trailing after 40 minutes of play. It is also interesting to note that the Bulls lost their first game on Friday when they have outshot an opponent. The Bulls shots on goal average has improved in recent weeks, ranking ninth in the NAHL at just under 32 per game. Forward Cody Freeman made an impact in his return to the line-up this weekend. Freeman had three goals and nine shots on goal in two games played.
WICHITA FALLS 5 – AMARILLO 2:Cody Freeman scored twice but it wasn’t enough as the Amarillo Bulls fell to the Wichita Falls Wildcats 5-2 on their return to home ice. Freeman scored the first and the last one, and the Wildcats had five in between. The game featured 100 minutes in penalties and several skirmishes after the whistle. Zack Smoot, Kyle Sucher and Derek Hills added assists on the Bulls goals. Chris Eiserman started in goal in place of injured Nikifor Szczerba. Mac Haight came on in relief in the third period.
AMARILLO 4 – WICHITA FALLS 3:Two power play goals four minutes apart ignited the Amarillo Bulls to another comeback win. This time it was 4-3 over the Wichita Falls Wildcats. The Bulls trailed 2-1 going into the third period and the two special team goals were part of a three goal outburst. Joe Kozlak, Ricky DeRosa, Michael Erickson and Cody Freeman notched goals for Amarillo. Matt Johnson chipped in two assists. Goaltender Eiserman posted his first win of the season.