NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – Kyle Gattelaro scored twice and set up two more to lift the Amarillo Bulls to an 8-3 triumph over the Lone Star Brahmas on Saturday night at NYTEX Center in North Richland Hills, TX.
It was the Bulls 37th win of the season and it pushed them four points ahead of the Topeka RoadRunners for first place in the South Division. The Bulls and the RoadRunners face one another in a first place showdown Monday and Tuesday in Kansas.
The difference in Saturday’s game was Bulls ability to separate themselves from the Brahmas with two goals seventy second apart. Brett Szajner scored off a face off win and then Gattelaro with his second of the game to break open a close 2-1 game at the time. The Bulls were also able to respond with timely goals after the Brahmas attempted a brief rally.
Along with the two goals from Gattelaro and the single from Brett Szajner, Joe Grabowski, Mike Davis, Cody Gylling, Matt Sieckhaus and Timmy Moore had the other Bulls markers.
It didn’t take long for the Amarillo Bulls to break out on the score sheet. Kyle Gattelaro notched his 15th of the year with a great shot from the face off from Roman Ammirato at 3:28. Seven minutes later, the Bulls added to their lead on the power play when Joe Grabowski’s blast found the top corner from Brady Ferguson and Kyle Gattelaro. The Brahmas narrowed the Bulls advantage to 2-1 when they scored on the power play with just 14 seconds remaining in the stanza. The Bulls outshot the Brahmas 10-5 in the first period.
The Amarillo Bulls finally got the separation from the Lone Star Brahmas in the second period scoring twice in a span of 70 seconds to open up a 4-1 lead and chase starter TJ Black. First Brett Szajner scored off a face-off win from Matt Sieckhaus and then Kyle Gattelaro from Mitchell Vanderburgh and Szajner. Near the end of the middle stanza, the Brahmas cut the deficit to 4-2 on a shot from the face-off dot. But the Bulls scored their fifth goal just 30 seconds after that to restore a 5-2 advantage. Mike Davis scored from Kyle Gattelaro and Roman Ammirato. The Bulls outshot the Brahmas 14-3 in the second period.
The Lone Star Brahmas started quickly in the third period to cut the deficit to 5-3 and chase starter Collin Delia who was replaced by Paul Berrafato. Just over two minutes later Cody Gylling scored the 6th Bulls’ marker after some great work to get the puck to the net by Mitchell Vanderburgh.
Mat Sieckhaus made it 7-3 when he capitalized off a Brahmas turnover. Timmy Moore rounded out the scoring when he scored 1:19 later from Patrick Pollock and Eric Purcell.
Despite being outshot 11-9 in the third period, the Bulls maintained the overall advantage 33-19. There were six total power plays with each team scoring once on three attempts.
The best rivalry in the North American Hockey League resumes on Monday night when the Bulls visit the Topeka RoadRunners at Kansas Expo Center Landon Arena. Broadcast coverage begins with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 6:15 pm on CBS Sports Radio 1440, www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV courtesy of Fast Hockey with Denis J. Puska. The face off is set for 6:30 pm.
The Amarillo Bulls return for their final two home games of the regular season next Friday and Saturday night against the Wichita Falls Wildcats at 7 pm. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets. For further information on Group Rates, 2014 Playoff Packages and 5th anniversary Season Tickets, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.