SHREVEPORT, LA — The Christmas Break couldn’t have come at a better time for the Amarillo Bulls. A three goal third period by the hometown and first place Shreveport Mudbugs pushed them by the Bulls 5-2 on Sunday afternoon at George’s Pond Hirsch Coliseum.
The Bulls finish the first half of the schedule with 10 wins and three points back of the fourth and final playoff spot in the South Division. Alex Borowiec and Marcus Chorney scored for the Bulls both coming in the second period. Amarillo had leads of 1-0 and 2-1 only to see the Mudbugs rally to tie the game and then pull ahead for good on a goal in the first five minutes of the final stanza. Alexei Masanko took the loss in goal.
Special teams proved to be the downfall for the Bulls as they failed to score on six power play attempts.
It was a scoreless opening 20 minutes of play with neither team being able to break through. Shreveport outshot Amarillo 13-8 in the first period.
The Bulls got on the board 41 seconds into the middle period as Alex Borowiec jumped on a Shreveport defensive turnover and his one timer beat goaltender James Durham. Tyler Miknich and Quinn Warmuth picked up assists on the play. Just over 20 seconds later, the Mudbugs pulled even when Cole Quisenberry’s shot got through Masanko.
Marcus Chorney put the Bulls back in front 2-1 when he fired a shot past the goaltender. The play was started by Gleb Murtazin, who cycled the puck behind the Mudbugs goal line and found the Bulls defenseman open. Just over 90 seconds later, Shreveport tied the game for a second time as Cameron Cook’s quick shot slipped past the arm of the goaltender. The Bulls had a chance to regain the lead on several power play opportunities including a four minute advantage but didn’t connect.
There was a good flow between the two teams to start the third period. Shreveport grabbed the lead as Zack Faremouth scored on a quick shot at the 4:11 mark. Roberts Baranovskis gave the Mudbugs a two goal lead converting an odd man about half way through the period.
The Bulls came close on several occasions to carve into the Shreveport lead but were denied by Durham who came up with some big stops including one where he was scrambling to get back into the net. Head Coach Rocky Russo pulled the Bulls goaltender in the final 90 seconds but the Mudbugs ended any threat of a comeback with an empty net goal.
The Amarillo Bulls return home on Saturday, Dec. 30 and Sunday, Dec. 31 when they host the
Odessa Jackalopes at 7 pm at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. Tickets for all home games are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket locations, including United Supermarkets. Fans can also call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.