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Daily Dish: Classless Amarillo Bulls Reach Final After 7-0 Loss - Junior Hockey News

Published: Monday, 13 May 2013
By: Stephen Heisler  |  Web site: JuniorHockey.com

The North American Hockey League's Amarillo Bulls are by far the dirtiest hockey team I have ever come across and their reputation was soiled further on Sunday. Many around the league believe that the Bulls purposely lost big to the Wenatchee Wild (7-0) in order to punch their ticket to today's championship final.

What is even more disgusting is the impression that the Bulls were trying to take out key Wenatchee players in the process.  Bulls' coaches Dennis Williams, Harry Mahood, and Rocky Russo should be forced to face a discipline hearing after turning the event into a mockery of the game. The NAHL needs to quickly step in and suspend the Bulls' coaching staff for orchestrating such a gross violation of the game's ethics. We all know THAT is never going to happen.

Folks from around the league were as shocked as I was. The following quotes are from the Twitter accounts of various media guys.

Arch Ecker, Topeka RoadRunners - So a team may have incentive to lose big in order to advance to the championship game.

Rob Lippolis, Corpus Christi Ice Rays - Last time Amarillo lost by 7 goals was in 2010-2011 against Corpus Christi (10-3). In that game, they didn't benefit from it.

Ken Oda, Minot Minotauros - The NAHL: The League of (intentionally losing by 7 gets you the best) Opportunity. What a joke at the Robbie, this is why it should be a playoff system all the way through.

Joey Battaino, Michigan Warriors - No matter how twisted the rules are, throwing a game is tacky. Amarillo Bulls making a mockery right now.

Paul Teeple, Bismarck Bobcats - This is a travesty and a shame and a mockery. This is a traveshamockery.

And from the peanut gallery, I got this late night gem from one of the Bulls' strongest supporters.

Andrew Hochstein, Amarillo Bulls Superfan - Bet you're gonna do a story about how classless and pathetic we are for losing by 7 huh? It's called working the system. It's 100% legal and fair. If it wasn't legal and fair then it wouldn't be in the rules. The fans know it, the coaches know it, and the players know it.

Well said Andrew, you just summed up everything that is wrong with Amarillo Bulls hockey. The hardest part to stomach is the fact that you and the others are so completely clueless when it comes to the traditions of this game or about what's right or wrong.

I'm pretty sure that the leadership of the United States Hockey League will be looking at this situation closely when considering the Bulls' ownership group, Consolidated Sports Holdings, for membership. 

The NAHL also needs to scrap the Robertson Cup format and go to a straight playoff system. I'm tired of this event leaving a nasty taste in the mouths of everyone associated with it. These kids work their backsides off the entire season for the opportunity to play in front of smaller crowds than what they had for mini-mites hockey?  This format is an epic failure.

"I don't believe they tanked the game, I think they were tired after playing two overtime games. We had a lot more to play for in this game and won." said Wenatchee coach Bliss Littler. "Both of our teams play physical and intense hockey and will be unable to intimidate the other. Fans of the league have been waiting all year for this match-up and both teams will be playing their best hockey."

I have a tremendous amount of respect for Littler, but he does not think it is possible for a coach to tell a group of athletes, at this level of play, to go out and lose on purpose. Coach, deep down I hope that you are right but we are talking about the three amigos here. I would put NOTHING past these guys.  

As for the final, I'll go along with Littler believing that the game is going to be a battle. I also have a lot of faith that good will trump evil with another Wenatchee win.

JuniorHockey.com is the premier website dedicated to delivering the latest news and developing stories from junior hockey across North America, as well as providing online tools for junior hockey players and prospects. With over 850,000 views in the first quarter of 2013, Juniorhockey.com has emerged as the internet's leading source of junior hockey news and information. 

Investigative opinion writer Stephen Heisler has spent a lifetime in the game of hockey. Now semi-retired, he splits time with family in Texas and at their beach property in Mexico.  Tune in to his Mexico based Classic Rock Station, GoPenasco Radio.








Discuss:

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 12:16am
Jeff brown says:
Again why aren't you ever at any of these games?????

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 12:39am
Christian Poulsen says:
Oops, I peck so slow, sometimes subject headings come up while I'm still wallowing in the last one.

Anyway, again Stephen, just as you called it in the beginning. Tomorrow night we see if your right in the end.

WTF anyway, the best team isn't there (THE Topeka Roadrunners)

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 1:01am
Nick Petersen says:
Jeff Brown:

He's some guy from Mexico whose never played competitive hockey so this is the closest it gets.

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 1:03am
Randy Gilbert says:
I called that at the 1st intermission. I am not going to post it to the fan page I hope you can understand.

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 1:09am
Max Wood says:
Funny how there is always some one from the outside to throw punches from the outside on his keyboard none the less.....Its quite obvious the rules are established for a reason and if it were the other way round I bet he find some punches to throw and keys to stroke at somebody else...No credability noted!!!

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 1:20am
Nick Petersen says:
THANK YOU MAX WOOD!

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 2:17am
Max Wood says:
yeah after some research this guy is a tool... likes to bash everyone...Another blog FINSH YOUR CHECK had this to refer to this wise cracker (AKA The Mexical League Hockey expert)

"Stephen, the robertson cup, Wins and losses dont mean ****. IT IS ABOUT PLAYER DEVELOPMENT period. About talent development that is all. Tier I Tier II tier III doesnt matter. Players need to be in which ever level where they will grow. Coaches have one priority developing talent. in tier two they get the added frustration of having to put asses in seats."

"Stephen listen, I know your frustrated. We understand that you never amounted to anything in hockey, that you never get to go any games, and that on a sheet of ice loaded with talent can astutely spot it by reading a stat sheet. You need to be honest with your readers, little buddy. Maybe change your site name to A Wii Tod's hockey blog.."

He's refering to a post where Heiser blasted Topeka's Coach Langer. Aparently, that's all this guy can do again no credability!!!


posted May. 13th, 2013 - 7:47am
Christian Poulsen says:
Does anybody else out there see something hilarious here, or am I just a sick puppy?....Har!

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 7:57am
Tony Prito says:
You guys are all chirping Heisler but...you obviously read his Column all the time! CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP!

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 8:09am
Christian Poulsen says:
I guess I'm just sick.
Last night while I was reflecting on Mothers Day and family, I thought to myself "There must be Mothers and family affiliated with Amarillo?"
Then my next thought was ROB ZOMBIE movies.

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 8:12am
Stephen Heisler says:
Max Wood writes:
yeah after some research this guy is a tool... likes to bash everyone...Another blog FINSH YOUR CHECK had this to refer to this wise cracker (AKA The Mexical League Hockey expert)

"Stephen, the robertson cup, Wins and losses dont mean ****. IT IS ABOUT PLAYER DEVELOPMENT period. About talent development that is all. Tier I Tier II tier III doesnt matter. Players need to be in which ever level where they will grow. Coaches have one priority developing talent. in tier two they get the added frustration of having to put asses in seats."

"Stephen listen, I know your frustrated. We understand that you never amounted to anything in hockey, that you never get to go any games, and that on a sheet of ice loaded with talent can astutely spot it by reading a stat sheet. You need to be honest with your readers, little buddy. Maybe change your site name to A Wii Tod's hockey blog.."

He's refering to a post where Heiser blasted Topeka's Coach Langer. Aparently, that's all this guy can do again no credability!!!



Never amount to anything? I'm living the dream baby. I get to talk about junior hockey all day from a sunny beach resort in Mexico... and get paid very well to do it.

You want to hurt me? The worst thing you can do is move your pointer to the upper right corner and exercise your right to not read me. Until then, YOU are making me money with every click.

65% of the hockey world loves what I have to say, 20% is on the fence, and 15% want to kill me. They all read me everyday so I win either way.

But I'll never amount to anything. Hey dummy, I already have.


posted May. 13th, 2013 - 9:56am
John Meissner says:
Wait a minute Max....You're quoting Finish Your Check? That website that discourages differing opinions and bans you the moment you offer one?

Yeah, there's credibility right there.

Not.

Go Wild!

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 10:14am
Willie Schmidt says:
As painful as this is to say - in the end, it didn't matter if Amarillo lost by 1 or 7. Ultimately, the 2 best teams are playing for the title. Unfortunately, they are doing it in one night, rather than a series.
Not being there, it's hard to say - but based on recaps and boxscores - it looks like Amarillo just hasn't really shown up this week.
As for "targeting" - welllll..... Amarillo comes with a nasty, often despicable demeanor. It could look like targeting. It could look like them mucking up the game, as they tend to do. It's actually that nasty streak that makes it a bit hard to believe they would willingly accept a 7-0 rout, whether they were told to or not.

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 10:43am
Jon Hart says:
Like Christian I have 1 Fast Hockey credit left, ill use it tonight. The good news for Amarillo is if Wenatchee moves to Hildalgo they will get to see cup quite often, next season aswell so, wether they win or lose tonight it's a win/win for them. Go Wild!

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 11:06am
Adam Janik says:
lol, this kind of crap would never happen in the EJ...just sayin :)

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 12:17pm
Bill Mueller says:
Adam Janik writes:
lol, this kind of crap would never happen in the EJ...just sayin :)



You waste your first post back on that. You're still a fool. You know what else would never happen in the EJ, the level of play going on in Frisco.

By the way fool, does the EJ even exist anymore.


posted May. 13th, 2013 - 1:00pm
Adam Janik says:
Bill,
It must get really lonely in your trailer, ha? All that backed up rage. It must be tough.

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 1:11pm
Christian Poulsen says:
Im just jumping in here, killing some time before the puck drops for the last time this NAHL season.

I know how wrong "you/we/all" can be trying to "read" somebody online.

But Bill, I saw that coming from 5280 feet!


posted May. 13th, 2013 - 1:18pm
Tony Prito says:
this could be worse than the Texas Chainsaw Massacre tonight!

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 1:27pm
Christian Poulsen says:
How so Tony, whats your view? Score?, a Wenatchee or Amarillo rout?, "Real" Rocky Mtn. Oysters splatering all over the place?, Cops in riot gear?

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 1:28pm
Bill Mueller says:
Good one Janik. Your intellectual ineptitude proves itself yet again.

Yeah Christian, chaos and controversy usually attract vermin.

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 1:33pm
Christian Poulsen says:
LOL!, believe it or not, I saw that coming too!

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 1:35pm
Adam Janik says:
Bill,
Really, stop using words everyone knows you dont understand. Also, if your going to come at me every time I make a post, at least try and make yourself look less like a shook NAHL father and more like someone who can take a joke. Again, get out of the trailer and get some fresh air...

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 1:35pm
Bill Mueller says:
hahahaha

I believe you.

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 1:40pm
Adam Janik says:
Bill,
Really, stop using words everyone knows you dont understand. Also, if your going to come at me every time I make a post, at least try and make yourself look less like a shook NAHL father and more like someone who can take a joke. Again, get out of the trailer and get some fresh air...

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 1:41pm
Christian Poulsen says:
Adam, I now sense a reversal in this whatever it is. You should have quit with your 2nd post. You maybe were in check with Bills last post, but at least you could have claimed stalemate with silence. Too late now grasshopper.

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 1:43pm
Adam Janik says:
its funny, when i was typing my ej comment, i was thinking which donk would respond first. I was correct

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 1:52pm
Stephen Heisler says:
What is the EJ?

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 2:09pm
Tony Prito says:
I hope Wenatchee wins by a Touchdown!

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 2:31pm
Dave Williams says:
Stephen, if they indeed "threw" the game, the league would have no choice but to kick them out of the tournament to save the leagues integrity. This type of scandal will hurt whole league.
Stephen, if there is any truth, you MUST press the issue as your voice likely would stir up the noise to make this known to higher mediums.

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 3:05pm
Erin Green says:
As all of you are light heartedly ribbing one another there are 20 boys that will not be taking the ice tonight. For some this is their last season and for others they are questioning what has happened to the sport they love. There is truth to Amarillo throwing the game as I was there and there was an entire strategy session held and held in front of NAHL officials to the exact end result you have seen. I am not sure where in "the rules" it states purposely losing a game to gain advantage over others is ok. I am not aware of any sport where that tactic is acceptable. A hearing is definitely in order, but after the game? The commissioner supposedly has already issued an email apology to the Bobcats, but sorry does not put them where they rightfully belong. On the ice tonight. It is not too late for the NAHL to do the right thing.

If this is to be pursued further please look at the tournament rules posted when 2 or more clubs are tied after the round robin and the addition of letter d at the bottom to try and cover up what they did. Not to mention there may be a Wenatchee parent who helped make the final determination. They may not be innocent by standers in all of this.

What message are we sending future players about character? The Olympics have seemed to figure out how to disqualify players and teams doing this exact same thing. Why can't the NAHL?

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 3:09pm
Jeremiah Cunningham says:
Maybe someone ought to remind Bismark that if they wanted to be playing tonight they should have beat Amarillo. They lost heads up to Amarillo so suck it up and go home. Its not like the beat Amarillo and then Amarillo got in anyway.

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 3:40pm
Erin Green says:
Yep they lost to Amarillo, but Wenatchee lost to Bismarck and Amarillo let Wenatchee win so they both could advance. Hmmm....who should suck it up and go home?

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 3:48pm
Jeff brown says:
As the song goes "Light em up" Bulls!!!!! We will finish this!!!! Go Bulls!!!!

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 3:54pm
Christian Poulsen says:
Yes but the Bobcats beat the Wild. Its just a terrible tie breaking system even for round robin tie breaking systems.
If there can't be how it should be (series), remove that "D", isn't that what stinks it up?

Correct me if I'm wrong but if all the tiebreaking steps John listed including the last c (coinflip) were just followed without that "important" "D", none of this would even be in question.

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 4:00pm
robert hutch says:
I would like to think a Canadian would not throw a game and insult the game of hockey like that.Amarillo has not been able to score like the usually do in this tournament.They had played 2 OT games.Wenatchee is a known power but maybe the Bulls underestimated both the Ironmen and the Bobcats.Maybe the Bulls are over rated.But I have to admit nothing would surprise me coming from the Bulls.Maybe the good that will come out of this will be a better way of doing things in the future.Hard to justify a team losing 7-0 to a team the Bobcats beat getting to go to the Finals.I understand where Bismarck is coming from.But to me the only way we will know for sure the Bulls did what they are accused of would be if a Bull player with respect for the game comes forward and verifies it.Until then it is what it is.

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 4:04pm
Stephen Heisler says:
The proof is in the replay. Go back and watch the Bulls goalies react to be scored on...

Stinks to high heaven... I am not a Thom Brigl fan, but his Bobcats got hosed by Amarillo.

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 4:06pm
Erin Green says:
You are absolutely correct if they would have followed their own tournament rules as it states when 2 or more clubs are tied and used "a" Amarillo would have had to fairly play Wenatchee. Instead they inserted "d" after the fact to justify what they told Amarillo and Wenatchee on Sat night into Sun. I personally stood in the NAHL office with 3 others in Frisco and listened as the NAHL official explained to quote "how they interrupted" the rules.

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 4:12pm
robert hutch says:
Should they had reacted like this

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 4:13pm
robert hutch says:
Aw darn it one of these days I 'll learn how to do this!

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 4:32pm
Erin Green says:
Whose reaction?

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 4:44pm
Willie Schmidt says:
So you are suggesting that both of the teams should have been selected by step 2 (b) - point differential? The first seed was selected by point differential - leaving two remaining tied teams. In that case - Amarillo wins head to head.
If both teams were selected solely on point differential, then yes, Bismarck is in... unless the rules state otherwise. In this case, right or wrong, the rules stated otherwise.
Who here truly believes that Amarillo "threw" the game? As in, seriously, came out with the intention of not winning?
My theory is that they came out, and were getting rocked. Hard. At that point, who knows what happened - maybe they couldn't recover, maybe they decided to shut it down, with knowledge of what may happen.
I will tell you that I am physically ill from just asking these rational questions - and what I'm about to say may make me vomit:
So, if Amarillo had decided to gut it out, and come all the way back after that brutal 1st period (which I've have had to painfully endure watching them do), but only come up short, and lose by 1, or even 2 - what would the feeling be for those same kids who had to watch Bismarck (who they beat) go to the finals, because of goal differential????
And with all this - keep in mind - Bismarck lost to Amarillo, and only won by 1 goal in each of their two wins. Their finals appearance was much more in their hands, than that of the Amarillo coaches.

Think about it....

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 4:47pm
robert hutch says:
When the IceRays were in the CHL they were beating Laredo 9-4. Laredo's goalie , Kevin Defossee who was traded to Laredo from Corpus,on the 8th or 9th goal started swinging his stick against the goal post so hard it was lifting the net up.After 8 chops he threw his stick into the corner . I tried to post a video link but failed.Should the Bulls goalies reacted the same way?

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 4:51pm
Jr Ruiz says:
I think the old format where #2 and #3 played a semi game to see who plays #1 would have worked out better in this situation. And yes Willie, I think Amarillo tanked...


...

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 4:53pm
Christian Poulsen says:
Well, I can't believe Im gonna say this but in hindsight I kind of agree with Andrews reprinted post.

The rules are there, its too late now, the complexion of the game being questioned (if not every game!) probably would have been different if, plain and simple: you gotta score as many as you can in their net and let as least pucks in yours as you can. Add em up and subtract em up at the end if the head to head is all locked up. Lastly flip a coin or have a shootout (same thing)

Untill then, its a mute point. If a rule or procedure is there to use or missuse for whatever reason, so be it. Its Bull Hockey and it can be beat, TONIGHT!

Strange, Im always for the home division/conference in all sports if "my team" is not "in it". Even the Raiders!
Not tonight, even though I picked them.
This could be proof of more than hate, this could be proof of LOATHING! LOL

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 5:09pm
Erin Green says:
Sorry to say the bulls did tank it FACT. When Wenatchee was declared 1st out of the 3 tied teams by goal differential no where did it say to revert back to head to head to determine the second team UNTIL they added D after the strategy session with Amarillo and Wenatchee. The whole thing as originally written was to look at all 3 teams and goal differential as head to head went out the window when they all beat each other.

I agree that ship sailed and as frustrating as it was the point now is Amarillo threw a game to gain an advantage because simply they felt their odds were better against Wenatchee. The NAHL by all rights should have barred them, for at a bare minimum violating the spirit of the game.

In 20 years of hockey at various levels in multiple states and multiple leagues I have never seen an organization take something so simple and so standard and make it such a big disaster.

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 6:41pm
Kirk Estes says:
Erin

You really expect us to believe that the "Important Note" "D" was added after Saturday night's games and Bismarck has not come completely unglued? That they have not gone to media outlets to expose your claimed travesty?


posted May. 13th, 2013 - 7:17pm
Christian Poulsen says:
Well, its a half hour away.

If what you say is fact Erin, and this (now infamous) "D" was added mid or late tournament to the tiebreking rules, I also would be disturbed and would have to question "fair play"

Not that I don't believe you, but I would be interested if others can colaborate or this can be proved. (Maybe just me, but I need "more than one")

Can anyone else comment on when this superseding "D" was added, or if it was always there. (I myself didn't check these tiebreakers on the websites at all)

My opinion is if what you say is true, its some pretty serious tampering




posted May. 13th, 2013 - 7:40pm
Jon Hosking says:
Well now that all the conspiracy theorists and various apologists have weighed in about this, I have a couple of suggestions:

-First get over it, the rules were published prior to the event and everyone knew what they were that is an indisputable fact. That being said the circumstances that ultimately played out under values the fact that Bismarck was the only team that did not have a regulation loss, and over values the two Amarillo overtime wins. This can be fixed by using the same formula USA Hockey uses in their Youth Championships, give 3 points for a regulation win and 2 for an overtime win, and 1 point for the regulation tie. Giving true value to regulation wins would have Amarillo watching from the stands tonight.

- second, I really like Mr. heislers idea of following a format that more closely resembles the Clark Cup Format. That provides the league an opportunity to reward the teams and their fans for being successful, and it has to be a heck of a lot cheaper to send some league staff to the 2 locations than it was to fly 3 teams of 27, lodge 4 teams of 27 for 5 nights.

Bottom line, the flaws in the system were exposed, and there isn't anything that can or will be done to change 2013. The question is will the League brain trust recognize that it was flawed, and make a reasonable effort to make the changes need to make the Robertson Cup the best event that it can be.

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 7:45pm
Erin Green says:
People did come unglued, apologies have been issued by those that be. Call it bad Internet connection, a scrolling malfunction, or the mysterious hanging "D".

The puck has been dropped and this will go down as the Robertson Cup with an asterisk in the minds of many, especially those of pure hockey heart. What do we have left but some faith in Karma. Getting back what you put out.

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 8:00pm
Jeff brown says:
2-0 bulls 4 min left in 1st!!!!!!! Go bulls!!!!!

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 8:06pm
robert hutch says:
Miraculous recovery!It's a miracle!UNBELIEVABLE! And I can't believe I'm still listening to the radio guy.

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 8:22pm
Erin Green says:
Thank you Jon Hosking. Very well put and I believe you may the true solution, any insight or thoughts on what USA Hockey would say/handle "throwing" a game?

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 8:24pm
Christian Poulsen says:
Hopefully if I yack, things will change. So far, if your in "the South" this is like a train wreck we saw coming but can not stop.

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 8:44pm
Jeff brown says:
Shorty goal!!!!!

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 8:45pm
Jeff brown says:
Shorty goal for the bulls!!!!

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 8:48pm
Jeff brown says:
4-0 bulls!!!!

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 8:56pm
robert hutch says:
I think the 3-2-1 is a must for next season.And do away with goal differental to break ties.. These two at the very least.

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 9:23pm
Tj Stoddard says:
I'd be all for a full on playoff format with best of 5's or 7's.

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 9:31pm
robert hutch says:
Well time to start the black helicopters!

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 9:33pm
Bill Mueller says:
Christian Poulsen writes:
Hopefully if I yack, things will change. So far, if your in "the South" this is like a train wreck we saw coming but can not stop.



That's the truth.


posted May. 13th, 2013 - 9:41pm
Jon Hart says:
I hope Frankenfeld feels like a complete tool when he hands the Robbie to John Rey...my god other South Division teams won't hear the end of gods gift to hockey the 2013 Robertson Cup Champions, your Amarillo Bulls. It was painful typing that, but not as painful as watching the leafs blow a 3 goal lead in the 3rd period of a game 7.

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 9:44pm
Jeff brown says:
I told you we would light em up!!!!! And finish what we started!!!

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 10:47pm
Max Wood says:
this web site is has no class

posted May. 13th, 2013 - 11:52pm
Jon Hart says:
Max Wood writes:
this web site is has no class



English/Grammar must not have been taught around those them there parts over yonder in the holler in 'Rillo.


posted May. 14th, 2013 - 8:03am
Christian Poulsen says:
And at least I'm still laughing about the "thank you MAX WOOD!" post a day or 2 ago from a GUY! yuk, yuk, yuk

posted May. 14th, 2013 - 11:00am
Gage Christianson says:
I can't hold my tongue any longer. The game was not thrown and as players we would never stand for such a classless thing. We played two back to back OT games and had a game against the second best team in the tournament less than 24 hours later. We as players didn't execute our game plan and suffered for it. Anybody that knows hockey knows a team that's on a roll is hard to stop. We sat there after the game thinking we were out of the tournament because we played so bad and thought we were going to lose out to goal differential to Bismarck. I personally would never do something so classless and nor would our coaching staff who has a will to win above any other in my opinion, and I've been a suitcase in this league for three years and know what it takes to win. Love us or hate us. Believe me or not. Your so called "asterik" will never take this championship away from me.

posted May. 14th, 2013 - 11:08am
Christian Poulsen says:
Well, that should shut us all up.
Stephen, feel free to delete my (this post) so as to leave Gage's post as the last one, if you want.

posted May. 14th, 2013 - 11:12am
Gage Christianson says:
Replacing my double post apologies.

posted May. 14th, 2013 - 11:29am
Stephen Heisler says:
Gage,
I wish it was that simple. But the video says something else entirely.

posted May. 14th, 2013 - 11:47am
Gage Christianson says:
Stephen,
This will be my last post because I really have no desire to get in a web battle over false accusations with little evidence other than a highlight video by a conspiracy theorist. You saying we threw the game only takes away from Wenatchee killing us in round robin. If you watched the whole game you would see that Nichols stood on his head and Wenatchee broke out on us all game leaving us little chance to get anything going offensively. They got the bounces they needed to stay in the hunt and we as players had poor execution. They were the better team Sunday. We got them when it counted.

posted May. 14th, 2013 - 11:53am
Stephen Heisler says:
Gage,
I have know your dad for most of my life and the last thing I want to do is try and discredit your (and the other Alaska players) championship.

If we are talking about one goal, I'd give you the benefit of the doubt. But six?

Maybe this plan was carried out behind your back, but something certainly stinks.

Bliss feels that the game was not tanked, and I respect that.

I have to go with what I see, and what hundreds of others are seeing and saying, something certainly does not add up.


posted May. 14th, 2013 - 12:04pm
Gage Christianson says:
It was definitely out of character for us. I know your relationship with Alaska hockey is strong as well as yours with my dad which is why I thought I, as the oldest player on my team, should be the one to say something. The game looked bad and was embarrassing for us but that's hockey. Nobody calls out NHL teams like the Philadelphia Flyers when they lose 7-0. Those games happen in hockey regardless of the skill level. If you don't come to play, you get your ass handed to you. That's just hockey. Even if the plan was carried out behind our back, which it wasn't, the coaches aren't the ones lining up for the opening draw.

posted May. 14th, 2013 - 12:08pm
Stephen Heisler says:
We appreciate your input Gage... you have been a fun one to watch. Good luck at the next level and rest assured, I'll be following your progress.


posted May. 14th, 2013 - 12:12pm
Gage Christianson says:
Thanks Stephen, I appreciate it.

posted May. 14th, 2013 - 12:36pm
Jeremiah Cunningham says:
I'm really proud of you Gage for coming on here and speaking your mind. Stephen I am impressed by the way you handled the exchange without being the bully you typically are.

I have watched nearly every home game for the Bulls this season. Without any offense intended toward the players what happened against the Wild on Sunday was not something that we as fans have not seen this year. The turnover at the point that the video makes such a big deal about has happened over and over again this year. The difference Sunday was that the Wild are a very good team and took advantage of the mistakes. On Monday the Bulls played extremely well and it showed just how talented these boys are.

The jealousy and rage on this website and in these forums need to stop. You all are taking things away from the Wild and from the Bulls. If I was a Wild fan I think I might be more upset that I am as a Bull's fan. To say that the Wild could only win Sunday because the Bulls let the win is an insult to those boys and that team. Give the Wild some credit for a game well played.

posted May. 14th, 2013 - 12:58pm
Stephen Heisler says:
Jeremiah Cunningham writes:
I'm really proud of you Gage for coming on here and speaking your mind. Stephen I am impressed by the way you handled the exchange without being the bully you typically are.

I have watched nearly every home game for the Bulls this season. Without any offense intended toward the players what happened against the Wild on Sunday was not something that we as fans have not seen this year. The turnover at the point that the video makes such a big deal about has happened over and over again this year. The difference Sunday was that the Wild are a very good team and took advantage of the mistakes. On Monday the Bulls played extremely well and it showed just how talented these boys are.

The jealousy and rage on this website and in these forums need to stop. You all are taking things away from the Wild and from the Bulls. If I was a Wild fan I think I might be more upset that I am as a Bull's fan. To say that the Wild could only win Sunday because the Bulls let the win is an insult to those boys and that team. Give the Wild some credit for a game well played.



You don't know me very well.

I don't "bully" players. I stand up for them when nobody else can or will.

I also stand up for fair play, what's right. and for the traditions of the game...


posted May. 14th, 2013 - 1:22pm
robert hutch says:
I second what you say in your first paragraph , Jeremiah.Let me offer my opinion on why a lot of people think the team tanked that game.The word is perception.The perception of the Amarillo Bulls is one of arrogant coaches with an unruly and rude fan base.Roach Hotel , security guards having to hired to escort scratched players around the arena,fans wishing harm on opposing players ,and I can go on.But you know I can't remember anything negative being said about the players.But with all this other stuff swirling around the the perception is they are a part of it and it came to a head Sunday.I myself admit my first thought was they tanked that game but I still didn't want to believe it.Mr. Littler didn't believe it and a guy with his creds would know.Mr. Christianson responds ,from how I read it, not out of anger but hurt and disbelief that people think the players would do that.I believe him too.Some of the perceptions of the Bulls fans and and staff may be deservered.The sad thing it has now been spilled over to the players which they don't deserve.To the 2012-2013 Bulls players who are moving on I wish the best for you.To the ones who will be returning I look forward to seeing you play again.

posted May. 14th, 2013 - 1:30pm
Jeremiah Cunningham says:
robert hutch writes:
I second what you say in your first paragraph , Jeremiah.Let me offer my opinion on why a lot of people think the team tanked that game.The word is perception.The perception of the Amarillo Bulls is one of arrogant coaches with an unruly and rude fan base.Roach Hotel , security guards having to hired to escort scratched players around the arena,fans wishing harm on opposing players ,and I can go on.But you know I can't remember anything negative being said about the players.But with all this other stuff swirling around the the perception is they are a part of it and it came to a head Sunday.I myself admit my first thought was they tanked that game but I still didn't want to believe it.Mr. Littler didn't believe it and a guy with his creds would know.Mr. Christianson responds ,from how I read it, not out of anger but hurt and disbelief that people think the players would do that.I believe him too.Some of the perceptions of the Bulls fans and and staff may be deservered.The sad thing it has now been spilled over to the players which they don't deserve.To the 2012-2013 Bulls players who are moving on I wish the best for you.To the ones who will be returning I look forward to seeing you play again.



Thank you Robert. Very nice response. It really is sad that those that say they stand up for the players have chosen to attack them in order to keep a vendetta alive against the Amarillo franchise.

Every team has its issues. Every fan base has its lunatics. Overall though I can say that I am proud to be a fan of the Amarillo Bulls.

What Ryan Cole and the other players do for this community is wonderful. The way they represent this franchise has to be inspired from somewhere. Brooks Behling led the way before Ryan when it comes to Bulls for Habitat. Now I look forward to what the next group of wonderful young men will do on and off the ice.

When the boys stop treating my own small children like the are the most special fans out there. When the boys stop taking care of the fans that are mentally and physically handicapped. When the boys stop taking care of this community. When the boys stop showing the class they have for the last three years then I will have a reason to question this team. Until then Go Bulls!!


posted May. 14th, 2013 - 1:36pm
robert hutch says:
Jeremiah , the last paragraph of your post not only sums up the Bulls players but probably every player of every team of every league. It is one of the greatest things about hockey.

posted May. 14th, 2013 - 1:38pm
Jeremiah Cunningham says:
robert hutch writes:
Jeremiah , the last paragraph of your post not only sums up the Bulls players but probably every player of every team of every league. It is one of the greatest things about hockey.



It truly is why we love the game.


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* Article disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, Stephen Heisler, and not necessarily the views of JuniorHockey.com. JuniorHockey.com does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.





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