The Amarillo Bulls kept their streak intact of never being swept at Kansas Expo Center Landon Arena. Paul Berrafato stopped 17 of 18 shots he faced as the Bulls dumped the Topeka RoadRunners 3-1 for their 29th win of the season on Saturday night.
The Bulls kept pace with the Texas Tornado in the South Division and remain one point back with the two teams going head-to-head in the Texas Panhandle next weekend. Ryan Cole on the power play, Clint Carlisle early in the third period, and Gage Christianson into an empty net tallied for Amarillo.
“It was a really good game by our guys that I thought we dominated from start to finish,” Williams said. “There was a mental lapse for about four or five minutes in the third period where Topeka scored that goal to make it 2-1. Our guys played a hard and physical game, kept their cool and stood up for one another.”
Williams said the team responded after a tough 1-0 loss on Friday night.
“We talked about it on Friday night being disappointed that we didn’t score a goal,” he said. “We told them that whether we win or lose it doesn’t matter, and the biggest thing you do is look how you respond to it the next night. The good teams when they win keep winning, and those that face a little adversity get back on winning track again.”
It was a feisty opening 20 minutes and more like what is expected between the two teams. The Bulls fired 18 shots on goal and were rewarded with their hard work when Ryan Cole scored from John Rey and Mike Davis. It came at the 11:53 mark and it was on a 5-on-3 power play.
There were several skirmishes and fights during the opening stanza. Forward Matt Sieckhaus and defenseman Geoff Fortman were involved in those fights.
The roughness continued in the middle stanza with the Bulls controlling most of the play. Amarillo outshot Topeka 10-3. Mike Davis had the best scoring chance when he was left alone in front of the net but denied by Viele. Paul Berrafato wasn’t as busy for the Bulls but made one of his best saves late in the stanza to keep his team in front.
Clint Carlisle gave the Bulls a 2-0 lead just 17 seconds in to the third period when he converted a turnover and a wraparound.
After Topeka narrowed the deficit to 2-1, the Bulls took over and out-worked and out-hustled the home team. Much of the play in the third was spent inside the RoadRunenrs zone. In the final 90 seconds Gage Christianson scooped up the puck and fired a long shot into the empty net to round out the scoring.
The visitors outshot the Topeka RoadRunners 39-18 including an even shots on goal of 11-11 in the third. There were 14 combined power plays with the Bulls notching the lone special teams marker.
The Amarillo Bulls are back on home ice next weekend as they host the Texas Tornado at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. Friday is College Night and tickets are $5 with a valid College ID. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk or by calling 806-242-1122.