FRISCO, TX – It was another history making night in the inaugural season of the Amarillo Bulls.
Cody Freeman flipped home a shot on the power play just 3:52 into overtime to lift the Bulls past the Texas Tornado 2-1 and win the Best-Of-Five Robertson Cup South Division Playoff Series 3-1.
It was the 10thtime this season that the Bulls have bounced back from a disappointing effort 24 hours prior and notched a victory. The Bulls advance to the South Division final, but they still don’t know who they will be playing. The Wichita Falls Wildcats forced a fifth game with an OT win at home against the Topeka RoadRunners. Those two teams will play a fifth game on Monday night.
After the teams combined for 30 goals in the first three games of the series, they settled down to play a solid defensive style of hockey that was evident throughout the regular season.
In the overtime, Texas was called for tripping near the center ice area setting up the Bulls man advantage that would be their sixth in the game. The Bulls nearly scored earlier on the power play as two shots were turned away by Jimmy Kruger. Freeman dug the puck out along the boards and was allowed to bring it to the front of the net — and his shot beat the goaltender to send the Bulls into the next round.
There were more than 80 Amarillo Bulls fans that attended that game as well as Game 3 on Friday night.
The opening period was solid end-to-end action with both teams combining for 13 shots. The Bulls had two powerplays but failed to score. Both goaltenders Nikifor Szczerba and Jimmy Kruger were solid in the first 20 minutes.
The Tornado jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a shot from the slot area, but three minutes later the Bulls tied the game on a goal by Mitch Rogge from Carl Beckman and Dan Sherer at 12:02.
There was no scoring in the third period, but Rogge missed another close chance to give his team the lead late when his shot hit the crossbar.
The Texas Tornado outshot the Amarillo Bulls 35-25. There were a total of eight power plays with the Bulls going 1 for 5.
There will be more Amarillo Bulls playoff hockey the weekend of April 15theither in the Texas Panhandle or in Topeka. Should the Wichita Falls Wildcats take game five of the series, then the Bulls would have home ice again and host the first two games. If the Topeka RoadRunners win the game then they would host the Bulls with home ice advantage at the Kansas Expo Center.