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Bulls close gap with 4th straight win

March 12, 2015

Wes Michaud had a hat-trick on Wednesday night to help the IceRays top the 1st place Brahmas, 4-3 in overtime.

Amarillo 5 @ Wichita Falls 4 - The Amarillo Bulls posted their first four game winning streak of the season. Charlie Combs fired his second goal of the game, which was the eventual game winner, early in the third period and the defense did the rest as the Bulls dumped the Wichita Falls Wildcats 5-4 on Wednesday night at Kay Yeager Coliseum. The win was a huge game in hand for the Bulls and it pulled them to within three points of both the Wenatchee Wild and the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees for a playoff spot in the South Division.  Wichita Falls found the net first, taking advantage of a broken play in the neutral zone. Shane Kuzmeski raced forward and blew past his defenseman, before sending a smart wrister across the grain and over the leg pad of Jacob Weatherly to make it 1-0 at 5:25 of the first. Amarillo responded by taking advantage of its first power-play opportunity, as Charlie Combs blasted a one-time shot into the top corner before David Zevnik had a chance to react to make it 1-1. The Bulls took the lead a few minutes later when Ben Jentsch’s effort was blocked in front but fell right to Luke Novak to put home, but the 2-1 score-line was short-lived. With time winding down in the period and the puck in the offensive zone of the Wildcats, Farmer managed to move a puck along to Charyszyn behind the net. Charyszyn quickly played it in front for Apap, who tapped it through Weatherly’s legs to send the game into the first intermission tied at 2-2. The goal, Apap’s ninth of the year, came at the 19:48 mark of the first frame. Amarillo took its second lead of the night at 7:51 of the second period with its second power-play goal of the evening, as Jesper Synnelius slipped a shot past Zevnik after he was given too much time to operate at the top of the zone. The Wildcats tied the contest with a power-play tally of their own though, with Apap getting his second of the game out of a scramble after Koch managed to squeeze a shot on net through a maze of bodies. The effort was blocked in front but landed right in front of Apap, who tapped it over the line before Weatherly could sweep it away from danger to make it 3-3 at 13:36 of the second. Amarillo wasted no time taking the lead in the third, as AJ Duggan capitalized on a giveaway at the Wichita Falls blue line to skate in uncontested to beat Zevnik and give the Bulls the 4-3 lead. They doubled that edge a few minutes later when Combs scored on a breakaway after stripping a Wildcats defenseman and put a shot through the legs of Zevnik to make it 5-3, but Wichita Falls came roaring back immediately after. Just 25 seconds later, Colin Staub cut the deficit in half when he managed to shove a loose puck past Weatherly. Boxscore
 
Lone Star 3 @ Corpus Christi 4 (OT) - The Corpus Christi IceRays fought through trouble in the second period and claimed a 4-3 overtime win against the Lone Star Brahmas on Wednesday night from the American Bank Center. Early in the 1st period, forward Wes Michaud raced into the offensive zone and deked by Brahmas netminder T.J. Black to give the IceRays a 1-0 lead. Later in the frame, IceRays forward Connor Kelly sprung co-forward Maksim Dzhioshvili on a semi-breakaway and pushed by Black to double the lead, 2-0. The Brahmas pulled Black in favor of Jake Kupsky, and the tide turned for Lone Star. Forward A.J. Vanderbeck single-handedly brought the Brahmas back into the game. He notched his first goal at 4:00 to put the Brahmas on the board, 2-1, and followed that with a back-door tap-in to tie the game, 2-2, at 8:05 of the second period. Vanderbeck completed the hat-trick at 10:25 and pumped the Brahmas ahead, 3-2. The IceRays tied the game, 3-3, late in the period on the power play at 14:59 with Michaud’s second of the night. With no scoring in the third period, the game was forced into overtime, and with a surge at 3:29 for the IceRays, defenseman Anthony Cortese slapped a shot from the blue line that redirected off Michaud’s stick to complete the hat-trick and push the IceRays ahead 4-3 for the win. IceRays goaltender Andrew Lindgren earned the win, stopping 27 of 30 shots. Kupsky picked up the loss in a 10-for-12 save effort in relief, and Black turned away eight of 10 shots. Boxscore
 
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