The Amarillo Bulls fired four power play goals including two in the opening period en route to a thrilling 7-3 win over the Wichita Falls on Wednesday night at The Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
The Bulls became the first South Division team to get to 20 wins this season and pulled to within one point of the first place Texas Tornado.
It was a wide-open game at times with the Bulls seizing the momentum in the first and third periods. The Wildcats battled back hard in the second period, but were denied by strong goaltending of Steve Bolton who notched his first win on home ice. It was also a chippy contest with several fights and over 100 minutes in penalties.
The power play got the Amarillo Bulls off to a hot start in the opening 20 minutes. First Michael Erickson tallied his fourth of the season from Karl Beckman and Terrance Johnson at 3:09. About four minutes later, Erickson was at it again when he scored on a great shot that beat goaltender Tyler Green. Derek Hills earned an assist on the goal.
Kyle Sucher rounded out the scoring for the Bulls when he tallied on the power play from Dan McDougall at 13:33.
The Wildcats cut the deficit to 3-1 at the 12:07 mark, but it didn’t take the Bulls long to re-up the advantage when Mitch Rogge scored 1:37 later from Dan Sherer. Wichita Falls would round out the scoring in the stanza with a power play goal of their own in the final two minutes.
The Bulls dominated the third period with three goals including two 1:15 apart. First Matt Johnson scored from Chris Cass and then Dan Sherer from Zack Smoot and Travis Hill. After the Wildcats scored to make it 6-3, the Bulls went back to work with their fourth power play goal when Zack Smoot scored from Kyle Sucher.
The shots on goal were even at 34-34 and the Wildcats were limited to just 1 power play goal in five opportunities.
The Amarillo Bulls return to action on New Years Eve when they visit the Topeka RoadRunners in the first of back-to-back games. Fans can tune into the action on ESPN1440 and www.amarillobulls.com fueled by Sportsjuice, beginning with The Warm Up Show Presented By Wayland Baptist University at 5:45 pm. Denis J. Puska has the call at 6 pm. The two teams will meet on New Years’ night at the normal time of 7 pm.
Hockey is back at the Amarillo Civic Center on Friday, Jan. 14 and Saturday, Jan. 15 when the Bulls entertain the Topeka RoadRunners. Both games will start at 7 pm.