CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – Special teams had been an improved part of the recent play for the Amarillo Bulls, but it was the difference in a defeat on Saturday night at American Bank Center.
In a game that featured three power play goals, the Amarillo Bulls suffered a 2-1 setback to the Corpus Christi IceRays and fell six points back of fifth place in the South Division. The game was the first of four in a row between the two teams.
Tyler Hall notched the lone Bulls’ marker, while Anton Martinsson stopped 45 of 47 shots he faced. The game featured 14 power plays including 10 by the hometown IceRays.
It was a great start to the game for the Amarillo Bulls as Tyler Hall gave his team the early advantage. Hall scored his first North American Hockey League goal on a shot from the point from Charlie Singerhouse and Jake Houston just 1:30 in the contest. The Bulls controlled much of the play in the first period pushing the pace but unable to get anything further past goaltender Dryden McKay. Each team had 12 shots on goal in the first period.
A questionable too-many-men on the ice penalty allowed the IceRays to tie the game. Tobias Karcher fired a backhand shot under the cross bar that beat Anton Martinson just 3:29 in the second period. Johan Lundgren and Liam Ferguson offered the Bulls the best chances to tie the game but their shots were turned away by McKay. The IceRays controlled most of the action during the middle stanza and kept Martinsson busy at the other end. Corpus Christi outshot the Bulls 21-9 in the second period.
The Bulls came out with better pace in the third period but again most of their time was spent killing off penalties. The IceRays notched the go ahead goal when Regen Cavanaugh banned home a loose puck in front of the net. Forwards John Evans and Zach Sarnowski tried the get the Bulls fired up down the stretch as they displayed good physical play and at one stretch pinning the IceRays deep inside their own end. In the final minute, the Bulls pulled their goaltender looking for the equalizer and it was Tyler Hall who had the best chance in the slot area, but his shot was blocked by a defenseman.
The Corpus Christi IceRays outshot the Amarillo Bulls 45-28 including 14-7 in the third period.
The Bulls close out their weekend series in Corpus Christi tomorrow (Saturday) night at 7 pm at American Bank Center. Broadcast coverage begins with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 6:45 pm on CBS Sports Radio 1440, online at www.amarillobulls.com and PPV with Fast Hockey with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show. The puck drop follows at 7:11 pm with Denis J. Puska.
Hockey returns to the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Friday, Dec. 18 and Saturday, Dec. 19 when the Amarillo Bulls host the Corpus Christi IceRays at 7 pm. Fans can get their pictures taken with Santa Claus on Friday night. Saturday is the Toys For Tots Teddy Bear Toss Presented by Tyson. Fans can bring a new or gently used Teddy Bear or Stuffed Animal to the game and when the Bulls score their first goal throw the toys onto the ice in support of the great cause. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlet including United Supermarkets or by calling 242-1122.