THE SERIES:This is the fifth meeting of the season between the Amarillo Bulls and the Wichita Falls Wildcats. It is also the third in less than eight days. The two teams have split the first four games of this series with each having a win on the road and one on home ice. Zack Smoot leads all Bulls point getters in the series with five points, while Ricky DeRosa and Cody Freeman each have four goals. Stephen Fahlstedt lead the Wildcats with four assists, while Dakota Klecha, Drew Allen and Jason McAloon each have two goals.
WILDCATS 5 – BULLS 2: Jason McAloon notched two goals and Stephen Falstedt had three assists, as the Wichita Falls Wildcats beat the Amarillo Bulls 5-2 in the Amarillo Civic Center on Friday night. The Bulls scored the game’s first goal, but then yielded five consecutive markers to the Wildcats. Cody Freeman had both Bulls goals including one shorthanded. It was the first Bulls shorthanded goal of the season. Six of the seven goals in the game were scored when teams were at full strength.
ELSEWHERE IN THE SOUTH: The Texas Tornado had their 15 game winning streak snapped by the Topeka RoadRunners last night at Kansas Expo Center. The RoadRunners rallied from a 2-0 first period deficit with four straight goals including three in the second to beat the Tornado 5-3. These two teams will meet again in Topeka tonight. In Rio Rancho, New Mexico, the Corpus Christi Ice Rays dumped the New Mexico Mustangs for the second straight night, 2-1. The Ice Rays netted the game winner early in the third period to snap a 1-1 tie.
PENALTY KILLING IMPROVING: The Amarillo Bulls penalty killing has gotten much stronger in recent games, allowing just two power play goals in the last 17 times shorthanded. That stat now includes a stretch that has seen the Bulls not allow a goal in the last 11 Wildcats’ power plays. Until Cody Freeman’s goal in the third period, the Bulls were one of five teams that hadn’t scored a shorthanded goal entering last night game. It was the third shorthanded goal of the season allowed by the Wildcats.
HOME SWEET HOME:Zack Smoot and Cody Freeman lead the Amarillo Bulls on the ice in The Bull Pen this season with a combined 26 points. Freeman has seven goals, while Smoot has 10 assists. Joe Kozlak and Chris Cass have been firing the puck the most for the Bulls on home ice. Kozlak has 34 shots, and Cass has 31. Goaltender Nikifor Szczerba, who missed last night’s game due to injury, is undefeated 9-0-0 on home ice.
UPCOMING SCHEDULE: Tonight’s game at The Bull Pen closes out a short two game home stand for the Amarillo Bulls. It is back on the road for Dennis Williams’ charges as they head to Frisco, Topeka, Corpus Christi and New Mexico before returning home on December 17. The trips to Corpus Christi and Topeka will be the Bulls first this season.