THE TEAMS: WICHITA FALLS WILDCATS @ AMARILLO BULLS
WHEN: Tomorrow (Thursday) night (New Year’s Eve) at 7 pm
WHERE: Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center
PROMOTIONS: There are a variety of ticket specials including $5, $7 and $9 tickets depending on where fans want to sit. Fans can get free child’s tickets for a purchase of an adult. There are $1 hotdogs. Glow Sticks and Party Favors handed out at the door.
NEW YEAR’S EVE NOTE: Traditionally Amarillo hockey teams whether pro or junior have hosted a New Year’s Eve game. This is the fifth straight year the Bulls have done so and the third time the Wichita Falls Wildcats have been the opponents. The Bulls are undefeated in New Year’s Eve games winning by an average of three goals, including a 3-2 win in Topeka in the franchise’s inaugural season.
THE SERIES: This is the fourth meeting of the season between the Amarillo Bulls and the Wichita Falls Wildcats. After taking the first one 4-1, the Bulls have dropped the next two 4-2 and then 5-4 in overtime. The two teams will play one another again the day after New Year’s (Saturday, Jan. 2) in Wichita Falls for the first time this season. Oddly enough, schedule makers have the Bulls and the Wildcats facing each other four straight times.
Forwards George Mika and Joey Molinaro lead the Bulls four points apiece, while Charlie Singerhouse has collected two goals. The Wildcats are led by Adam Goodsir and Austin Albrecht who each have three goals and Austin Beaulieu who has five points. Goaltender Julian Sime has posted both wins in net for Wichita Falls.
BULLS NOTES: Matt Nicholson’s charges are 3-2 in their last five games, limiting their opponents to one goal in those three wins, but scoring two goals or less in the losses. Forward Charlie Singerhouse and defenseman Tyler Hall have led the team offensively, while goaltender Anton Martinsson has a .951 save percentage. Despite giving up four power play goals in their last game, the Bulls special teams have been on the rise scoring on the man advantage in seven of their last eight games.
WHAT IS AT STAKE: The Amarillo Bulls begin the 2nd half of the regular season within striking distance of a playoff spot in the South Division. Heading into action New Year’s Eve the Bulls trail fifth place Odessa by five points and fourth place Corpus Christi by just six points.
ACROSS THE SOUTH: It’s been a crazy time for South Division teams since the Christmas break. The Lone Star Brahmas played two in Topeka the day after Christmas splitting them, while the Corpus Christi IceRays and Odessa Jackalopes are in the midst of four games in five nights.