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Bulls snap Wildcats home winning streak on opening night

September 10, 2016

Filips Buscis had three points in a 4-3 win for Johnstown on opening night.

Amarillo 3 @ Wichita Falls 2 (OT) - A 20-game home winning streak came to an end on Friday night, as the Wildcats dropped a hard-fought 3-2 decision to the Amarillo Bulls in overtime. A long screen shot taken by Bulls dman Brendan Michaelian was fought off by Wichita Falls goaltender Patrik Jokela, but Steven Ipri swatted home the rebound to give the Bulls an early lead. In the middle period, the Wildcats took their first lead in shots on goal, cycling the wagons and putting some pressure on Bulls goalie Kyle Madore, but the goaltender was on his game.  The Wildcats dominated the play in the third period, outshooting the Bulls 12-6. Ryan Orgel scored the first Cats’ goal of the 2016-17 season, hauling the puck down the right wing and skating straight to the net, where he smashed it past Madore to tie the game at 1. Amarillo took advantage of a fast-developing 2-on-1 shortly thereafter, and Michaelian lifted a backhand shot over Jokela to regain the Bulls’ lead. After falling behind again late in the third period, the Cats kept their composure and continued to outskate the opposition. Seamus Donohue gave a crisp pass to Blake Ripley in the right circle, who fired a knuckling puck past Madore to tie the game back up. After a promising stint in sudden death, the Cats found themselves caught out of position when Kosta Likourezos broke through the neutral zone on a breakaway. Jokela made the stop, but Likourezos was slashed en route to the net, and won the game on the ensuing penalty shot. Jokela denied 20 of the 23 shots he faced, being charged with his first defeat. Madore stopped 24 of a possible 26 for the Bulls, earning his first NAHL victory. Boxscore

Johnstown 4 @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 3 - A three-goal second period helped the Johnstown Tomahawks defeat the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights 4-2 Friday night at Revolution Ice Centre in the first game of the 2016-17 NAHL season. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton scored the first goal when Vincent Marino found the back of the cage, beating Tomahawks goaltender Britt League. His goal was assisted by Joe Campolieto. The Knights increased their lead to 2-0 with a Jimmy Elser goal assisted by Michael Morrissey. Johnstown found the scoreboard minutes later. Dalton Hunter fired a wrist shot from the far circle past Knights netminder Grant Valentine to set the game at 2-1 heading into the first intermission. The Tomahawks tied the game with just over 10 minutes to play in the second period. Donovan Ott wristed a shot past Valentine with the assists credited to Filips Buncis and Zak Galambos. Six minutes later, Alex Singley put the Tomahawks on top 3-2 with his tally. Adam Pilewicz helped on the goal. With 51 seconds left in the middle frame, the Tomahawks added to their lead when defenseman Andrew Quetell feathered one past the glove of Valentine. Buncis picked up his second assist on the night. Adrian Danchenko brought the Knights within one goal with a power-play goal. The Tomahawks would clamp down defensively as League came up with plenty of spot-on saves including a short-handed penalty shot. League captured his first NAHL victory in a 25-save performance. Valentine picks up the loss, saving 25 out of 29 shots. Boxscore
 
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