Killer Bees edge Bulls in shootout on Thursday, 2-1
February 6, 2015
Amarillo 1 @ Rio Grande Valley 2 (SO) - The sixth and final playoff spot has been volleyed back and forth the past couple of weeks between the Amarillo Bulls and the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. Now, they each have a share of that spot after the Bulls dropped a 2-1 shootout decision to Rio Grande Valley on Thursday night at State Farm Arena in Hidalgo Texas. The Bulls and the Killer Bees each have 38 points, but Amarillo is placed ahead because they have one more victory. There is one final showdown between the two teams tomorrow (Friday) to conclude a stretch of four in a row.
Nick Schmit picked up the win in goal, making 26 saves. Anton Martinsson was solid in net for the Bulls, turning aside 29 of 31 shots he faced including some big ones in the third period to keep his team even. The Bulls scored first in the 2nd period, but Rio Grande Valley tied the game early in the third period, capitalizing on a turnover and then won with the lone goal in the shootout.
The Amarillo Bulls came out strong in the first period against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees but were unable to score. The best chances came via shots from inside the blueline from Elijiah Barriga and Riley Christensen but denied by Nick Schmit. The Killer Bees were kept back for the most part and their few scoring chances were denied by goaltender Anton Martinsson. The Bulls outshot the Killer Bees in the scoreless first period 8-5.
It was a solid second period for the Amarillo Bulls who collected the game’s first goal on a face-off win thanks to the work of Brady Crabtree, Joey DiBenedetto and JJ Huerena. Crabtree grabbed the puck and pushed it towards the front of the net and then across the goal line at the 9:57 mark.
The third period started with the Bulls having to retreat against the charging Killer Bees. A turnover inside the blueline and lone the boards led to Rio Grande Valley tying the game when a shot from Dean Balsamo beat goaltender Martinsson. Assists went to Anthony Croston and Dallas Gerads. That goal fired up the homeside and had the Bulls on their heels for most of the stanza. There were just 14 shots on goal with the Killer Bees having the edge 9-5.
There was nothing decided in overtime between the two teams so they entered a shootout a place the Bulls had only ventured one other time during the season. On the fourth round, Killer Bees newcomer Elliot Lorraine nudged one past Martinsson with a nifty move for the only goal.
The Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees outshot the Amarillo Bulls 31-27.