SHREVEPORT, LA – The Amarillo Bulls power play ignited a third period comeback on Friday night at George’s Pond Hirsch Coliseum, but in the end it was a shootout that was the deciding factor. The hometown Shreveport Mudbugs got a goal from Kieran Durgan who scored in the fifth round of the shootout to edge the Bulls 3-2.
Brendan Walkom and Steven Ipri netted a goal and an assist in the loss for the Bulls, while Colin Price and Marcus Chorney picked up other helpers. Nikita Babintsev surrendered his first goal (Durgan) in a shootout all season after stopping 10 straight. Steven Mather and Giovanni Carabelli tallied for Shreveport in regulation. Dyllan Lubbesmeyer posted the win in goal.
It was a good opening period for both teams as the Amarillo Bulls came out with the body and outhit the Mudbugs. The Bulls had some quality chances in the first period, but unable to find the back of the net. Charlie Singerhouse and Luke Edgerton were denied by goaltender Lubbesmeyer. Later Colin Price was in tight but he put the puck over top of the net. The Bulls outshot the Mudbugs 10-7 in the stanza.
But the second period wasn’t as crisp for the Bulls as Shreveport was able to build confidence with consecutive strong shifts and rewarded for their hard work with a goal. Steven Mather fired a puck that snuck through the pads of Nikita Babintsev and into the net at the 11:17 mark. The Mudbugs outshot the Bulls 17-6 in the second period.
The third period was an exciting one that featured plenty of special teams activities. Brendan Walkom tied the game for the Bulls when he wired a sharp-angled shot off the goaltender and into the net. Two minutes later, the Mudbugs regained a one goal advantage as Giovanni Carabelli tallied on a long shot that snuck through the arm of the goaltender. In the final three minutes of regulation the Bulls were rewarded with a 5-on-3 power play and made the most of their chance. Steven Ipri roofed the puck past goaltender Lubbesmeyer to tie the game.
It was a frantic overtime between the two teams as Nikita Babintsev robbed Cameron Cook on a scoring attempt and George Mika was thwarded on a chance near the front of the net. There were no goals scored in the shootout until Kieran Durgan raced up the ice and scored with a high shot.
The Shreveport Mudbugs outshot the Amarillo Bulls 40-32. The Bulls were 2 for 7 on the power play while the Mudbugs failed to score on three attempts.
These two teams will meet one final time this season tomorrow (Saturday) night at 7:11 pm at George’s Pond Hirsch Coliseum. Broadcast coverage begins with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 6:45 with Denis J. Puska on CBS Sports Radio 1440, online at www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV with Hockey TV.
The Amarillo Bulls return home on Friday, Mar. 24 and Saturday, Mar 25 versus the Odessa Jackalopes at 7 pm at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. Friday is Community Options Night and Saturday is sponsored by Amarillo Youth Hockey. The Bulls will wear special jerseys with a live auction to follow after the game with proceeds to benefit that organization. It’s also the return of the Sonic Family-Four-Pack for $44 (four tickets, four hotdogs, four sodas) and Sonic Bring-A-Bud-Pack for $22 (two tickets, two hotdogs and two sodas).
Purchase tickets 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. Fans can also call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.