BLAINE, MN The Brookings Blizzard fell in their first regular season game of the season to the Amarillo Bulls on Wednesday night, 5-4.
Wednesday marked the opening game of the 2018 NAHL Showcase, when all 24 teams around the NAHL come together to play in front of professional and college scouts.
The Bulls came out with their feet on the gas pedal and punched the Blizzard right in the mouth early on with two goals in the first three minutes (David Ojamae and Brett Abdelnour). Blizzard goaltender Alex Mosquera will want to chalk it up as a night to forget, as he eventually gave up four goals on 11 shots in the first period.
Dylan Schuett got the Blizzard on the board in the first period, as his wrist shot snuck through the five-hole of Bulls goaltender, Jason Grande.
“I scored the first goal for my team last year as well, so it was good to get that monkey off my back,” said Schuett. “So now I can just focus on playing as a team and not have to worry about that.”
Mosquera was replaced by Jack Caruso at the start of the second period.
Caruso stopped all the shots that came his way and pulled off some highlight reel saves in the process.
“It’s not always the goalie’s fault,” said assistant coach Devin Mantha. “It definitely wasn’t Alex’s fault, but sometimes you just need a goalie change. Jack came in and stood on his head.”
Sam Antenucci and Tom Magnavite each scored goals in the second period to bring it to a one-goal deficit heading into the third period.
But the Bulls scored one minute into the period and brought all the Blizzard’s second period momentum to a screeching halt. Joe Alexander added a late goal to make it 5-4 with six minutes left, but it ultimately wasn’t enough and the Bulls came away with the victory.
“Tomorrow we just need to get the pucks out of the blue line,” said Schuett. “It all starts on the face-offs. We can’t be fumbling the puck and we just need to make the simple plays.”
The Blizzard are back in action tomorrow afternoon for game two of the 2018 NAHL Showcase, when they take on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. Puck drop is set for 1:30 PM (CST) and the game will be televised on Hockey TV.