AMARILLO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls surrendered two third period power play goals, including the game winner in the final six minutes, and dropped a tough 4-3 decision to the Lone Star Brahmas on Friday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
The loss was the Bulls ninth in a row and eight by two goals or less. Amarillo had built a 2-1 advantage after 40 minutes and 3-2 at one point early in the third period until the Brahmas found a way to climb back into the game and eventually get the winner.
Coale Norris had a great game for the Bulls scoring twice, including once on the power play and Charlie Singerhouse picked up the single. Singerhouse tallied his third shorthanded goal of the season and second in as many games. Brian Baker was solid in net for a second game in a row. He was subbing for Anton Martinsson who couldn’t go because of flu-like symptoms. For Baker, it was his fifth straight start in a row.
It was another strong start to the game for the Amarillo Bulls as at times they carried the play to the Lone Star Brahmas. The visitors were able to net the game’s first goal on a re-direct at the side of the net in the first five minutes. That goal didn’t stop Matt Nicholson’s charges as they tied the game up on the power play when Jeff Solow’s shot was deflected in by Coale Norris at the 8:11 mark. Joey Molinaro also collected an assist on the play. Lone Star outshot Amarillo 11-9 in the first period, but the Bulls had five of the last six shots on goal.
Charlie Singerhouse gave Amarillo a 2-1 lead to start the second period when he scored his second straight shorthanded goal in as many games. Singerhouse went around the Lone Star defense and was able to put it up high past O’Brien to make it 2-1. Michael Forman earned a helper on the play. The Bulls protected the lead well with great shot blocking and the goaltender of Brian Baker who made some great stops, including one off the stick of Peter Kessel. Lone Star outshot Amarillo 14-7 in the 2nd.
Special teams proved to be the deciding factor in the third period as Lone Star tied the game 2-2 on a blast from the point just 3:05 into the stanza. Five minutes later, the Bulls restored their lead as Joey Molinaro and George Mika worked hard behind the goal for a centering pass for Coale Norris who was able to bang home the loose puck on a sharp angel. The visiting Brahmas again tied the game up on a tip at in front of the net. With just 6:16 left in regulation time a blast from the point eluded goaltender Brian Baker to make it 4-3.
The Bulls battled hard down the stretch and tried to score off a set face-off play in the last five seconds but the shot from Jeff Solow was tipped over the net.
The Lone Star Brahmas outshot the Amarillo Bulls 13-12 in the third period and 37-29 overall. The Brahmas were 2 for 5 on the power play and the Bulls were 1 for 3.
The regular season home finale for the Amarillo Bulls is set for tomorrow (Saturday) night at 7 pm versus the Brahmas. It’s The People’s Federal Credit Union Night and the first 500 fans receive a Pucky The Pig Piggy Bank. The Bulls are wearing specialty jerseys to mark their 400th game in the North American Hockey League. Fans can purchase raffle tickets for just $5 to help support Amarillo Youth Hockey. The jerseys will be drawn after the game on the ice and fans don’t have to be present to win.
The ticket special features $5 Red and Silver Sections and they are available at the Bulls Office from 10 am to 4 pm as well as the Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket locations including United Supermarkets. For further information, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.