HIDALGO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls couldn’t keep a fast start going on Friday night at State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, TX. After netting the game’s first goal, the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees scored the next four and went on to a 4-1 triumph.
That loss dropped the Bulls two points back of the sixth and final playoff spot with the Killer Bees in the South Division. There is just under two months remaining in the regular season and plenty of time for jockeying of positions between then and now.
It was the eighth and final regular season meeting between the two teams with Rio Grande Valley having the overall edge 5-2-1. Forward Cody Gylling tallied the lone Bulls goal, while Anton Martinsson took the loss in goal.
Seven shots in the first seven minutes of the game had the Bulls off and flying in the contest. Cody Gylling made his return to the line-up positive by scoring the game’s first goal, unassisted, at 3:29. After that the Killer Bees got rolling and tied the game on a power play with a shot that deflected in front of the net. Six minutes later, the home side Killer Bees took the lead on another play near the goal mouth. The Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees outshot the Bulls 11-9 in the first period.
The second period didn’t start well for the Bulls as the Killer Bees added to their lead in the first 62 seconds of the stanza. The Bulls pressed forward following that and had some quality scoring opportunities but failed to break through on Ben Johansson. Tristan Rostagno fired a shot on a power play attempt that grazed the clove of the goaltender and stayed out. Kasper Emanuelsson also had a good scoring play but Johansson was able to turn it away. Each team had eight shots in the second period.
It was a tight defensive third period the Bulls did their best to pressure the Killer Bees to get the next goal to climb back into it. Rio Grande Valley was able to round out the scoring when the Bulls were caught up too high near the center ice line allowing for a clean breakaway and goal past Martinsson. Down the stretch the Killer Bees kept the Bulls from mounting any late comeback charge.
The two teams combined for just seven shots in the third period. Overall, the Killer Bees outshot the Bulls 24-21.
It’s back at home ice for the Amarillo Bulls over the next two weekends beginning against the Corpus Christi IceRays on Friday, Feb. 13 and Saturday, Feb. 14 at 7 pm. Friday is AT&T night with the first 500 fans receiving a Jason style goalie mask. Saturday is Super Hero night with the Bulls wearing specialty jerseys in support of the March of Dimes. A post game auction follows immediately after the game with proceeds to benefit that great organization.
Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets including United Supermarkets. Fans can also purchase tickets online at www.panhandletickets.com or by calling 806-242-1122.