Special teams improve but Bulls drop 4-1 decision

IMG_5471CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – Odd man rushes were something the Amarillo Bulls couldn’t stop on Friday night in their game against the Corpus Christi IceRays at American Bank Center.

The hometown IceRays converted four odd-man rushes into goals and beat the Amarillo Bulls 4-1. The loss extended the Bulls winless streak to 12 games (0-7-5), but remained in sixth place in the South Division five back of Corpus Christi. Kosta Likourezos scored the lone marker for the Bulls in the third period, while Kyle Madore took the loss in goal. Madore was making his first loss since October 29 in the Texas Panhandle.

One of the bright spots on the night was the Bulls Penalty Killing as they were able to prevent the home team from scoring on three different opportunities. Luke Edgerton also played well for the Bulls in his first game in nearly two months. Due to injuries on defense, the Bulls called up recent tendered player Noah Kiemel from the Colorado Rough Riders. The young forward took a regular shift during the game and didn’t look out of place.

The first period started slow for the Amarillo Bulls, but the team got stronger as the action moved along. Luke Edgerton with the Bulls best chance on a breakaway but was denied by goaltender Cam Burggrabe. The IceRays jumped out to a 1-0 lead midway through the first period when Cole Filler finished off an odd-man rush with a shot that beat Kyle Madore on the stick side. The Bulls concluded the period strong with back-to-back power play opportunities, but unable to get anything past the goaltender. Corpus Christi outshot Amarillo 13-8 in the opening stanza.

Corpus Christi extended its lead to 2-0 when Filler got his second of the game with a shot just over the blue line that eluded Madore. The Bulls defense pinched in at the blue line, and the puck squirted free along the boards allowing the IceRays to get the break. Amarillo kept pushing in the period and got several power play opportunities but several shots were blocked at the blue line. The best opportunity came on a 3-on-1 break when Hayden Broomhead fired a shot that was turned aside by the goaltender Burggrabe. Late in the period, the IceRays made it 3-0 when Cole Gammer scored on a hot shot. The IceRays outshot the Bulls 14-8 in the third period.

The Bulls came out flying in the third looking to get on the scoreboard, but it was the home side that countered with a marker when David Thomson scored from Matt Acciaiolli who picked up his 2nd assist. Kosta Likourezos finally got the Bulls on the board when his screen shot found the back of the net from Phil Fromberger and Eric Cooley on the power play. It was quick work by the Bulls to set up the play as Eric Cooley won the faceoff cleanly and was able to get it back from Phil Fromberger.

The Corpus Christi IceRays outshot the Amarillo Bulls 38-30.

The two teams will meet again tomorrow (Saturday) night at American Bank Center at 7 pm. Fans can tune in live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, online at www.amarillobulls.com (internet permitting) and on PPV with Hockey TV beginning with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 6:40 pm. The puck drop follows after that.

Hockey returns to the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Friday, Dec. 9 and Saturday, Dec. 10 when the Amarillo Bulls host the Topeka RoadRunners at 7 pm. It’s the return of $5 Friday tickets available at the Bulls Office only. Saturday’s the annual Toys For Tots Teddy Bear Toss and fans are encouraged to bring a new or gently used Teddy Bear or Stuffed Animal to the game and when the Bulls score their first goal, throw the toys onto the ice in support of the great cause. The Sonic Family 4 Pack for $44 (four tickets, four hotdogs and four sodas) and Sonic Bring A Bud Pack for $22 will both be available (two tickets, two hotdogs and two sodas). Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket locations including United Supermarkets or online at www.panhandletickets.com. For further information on Group Rates or the Christmas Package, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.