AMARILLO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls had their five game winning streak snapped on Saturday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. In the end, the Bulls fell just two points back of a playoff spot in the South Division with five games remaining in the regular season after Rio Grande Valley fell to Lone Star in overtime.
Three goals less than three minutes apart snapped a 1-1 tie and propelled the visiting Wenatchee Wild past the hometown Bulls 5-2. George Mika and Elijiah Barriga tallied for Amarillo, while Anton Martinsson took the loss in the goal. Two of the three goals scored by Wenatchee during that span were tallied even strength including one that went off the stick of a Bulls defenseman and into the net. The other goal was scored on what has been an otherwise stellar penalty killing that had only allowed to two goals on the last 21 times shorthanded.
What may have set the Bulls off was the start of the game. It took seven seconds for Wenatchee to score the game’s first goal in the opening period and that had the Bulls backtracking the rest of the night. The Wild player jammed the puck home at the side of the net. Upon further review it appeared the puck had maybe travelled through a hole at the side of the net but the referee called the goal good.
There was one power play between the two teams that the Bulls were able to kill off. The best chance of the period came off a shot from the line that was deflected off of Cody Gylling that Zack Quinn was able to make the save. The Bulls were outshot 12-6 in the first period.
The second period was a tale of two halves. The Wild controlled play early on and had the puck penned in Bulls territory with lots of sustained pressure but couldn’t generate a shot on goal or a scoring chance. The Bulls finally were rewarded for their work later in the stanza with Will Harrison stole the puck off a turnover at the blue line. He and George Mika couldn’t convert on a two on one. Mika then took the puck behind the net and stuffed it in to tie the game at the 15:42 mark. The Bulls outshot the Wild 12-9 in the second. Wenatchee didn’t have a shot on goal for the final six minutes of the period.
The midway mark of the third period proved to be the Bulls downfall. The visiting Wild scored on a shot that went off the stick of a Bulls defenseman and then off goaltender Anton Martinsson and barely crossed the line. A Bulls penalty led to a Wenatchee power play that the Wild were able to capitalize at the 2:26 mark. Wenatchee wasn’t done yet and added a fourth goal off the ensuing face-off. Less than a minute later, the Bulls rallied and close the game to 4-2 when Elijiah Barriga roofed a shot past Quinn. Kyle Hartman and Cody Gylling were playmakers on the marker.
The Wild rounded out the scoring in the final 71 seconds. Despite outshooting their opponent 15-11, the Bulls were outshot in the game 32-28. The Bulls were just 0 for 2 on the power play, while the Wild finished 1 for 4.
It’s back on the road next weekend for the Amarillo Bulls as they visit the Topeka RoadRunners next Friday and Saturday at 7 pm at Kansas Expo Center Landon Arena. Fans can listen to 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 at 6:40 pm. Amarillo Bulls Hockey Presented By Westgate Mall follows at 7 pm.
The Amarillo Bulls have one more regular season home game left and it takes place on Tuesday, Mar. 24 at 7 pm against the Wichita Falls Wildcats at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets including United Supermarkets or online at www.panhandleticket.com . For further information on Group Tickets for 2015-2016 Season Tickets, call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.