BLAINE, MN – The Amarillo Bulls saved the best for last in their finale at the North American Hockey League Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota Saturday morning.
Despite falling in overtime to the expansion Aston Rebels (formerly the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees) 3-2, Matt Nicholson’s charges battled hard and competed for 60 minutes plus. The Bulls managed to earn a point with that overtime loss and had their record at the Showcase end at 0-3-1 (1-4-1 overall). It was the first time in five years that the Bulls did not garner a win at the prestigious event.
Forwards Michael Forman and Johan Lundgren rallied the Bulls from a 2-0 deficit with third period goals less than a minute apart. Anton Martinson faced just over 30 shots during the game and suffered the loss in goal.
It was an early start for both teams as they played the first game of getaway day at the Showcase (9 am central). There was no scoring after 20 minutes of play as both teams skated hard up and down the ice.
The Rebels jumped out to a 1-0 lead when the Bulls failed the get the puck out of their own end. The third saw Amarillo fall behind 2-0 when a defenseman had the puck roll off the end of his stick that went right to a Rebels forward who quickly put it into the net.
The Bulls battled back and kept forcing the issue and capitalized on a quick face-off win. Michael Forman tipped home a puck on a scramble in front of the net from Nick Santoro and Charlie Singerhouse. Just under a minute later, the Bulls tied the game when they capitalized on a turnover as Johan Lundgren’s shot cleanly beat the Rebels netminder.
The Bulls and the Rebels tested out the new NAHL overtime rules that sees teams play three-on three-hockey. The Rebels won the game in the first two minutes scoring on a 2-on-1 break up the ice.
The shots on goal total had the Aston Rebels with a slight advantage 38-26. The Bulls had all three power plays in the game, but failed to score on them.
South Division play resumes for the Amarillo Bulls next Friday and Saturday when they face the Corpus Christi IceRays at American Bank Center at 7 pm. Fans can tune into the action live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, online at www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV courtesy of Fast Hockey, beginning with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show 20 minutes before the puck is dropped.
Hockey returns to the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Friday, Oct. 16 and Saturday, Oct. 17 when the Amarillo Bulls host the Corpus Christi IceRays at 7 pm. Friday is Family Fun Night and Saturday is Pink In The Rink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk as well as all Panhandle Ticket Outlets including United Supermarkets or online at www.amarillobulls.com. For further information on Group Rates, Full, Half Season Tickets or 10 Game Flex Packs, call the Bulls Office 806-242-1122.