AMARILLO, TX – For the first time since November of 2013, the Amarillo Bulls have swept a season series with their arch rival Topeka RoadRunners.
Three third period goals and outstanding goaltending from Anton Martinsson propelled the Amarillo Bulls past the Topeka RoadRunners 3-1 on Saturday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. The victory allowed the Bulls to gain one point and cut the deficit between themselves and the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees with eight games remaining in the regular season.
Joey DiBenedetto, Will Harrison and then Riley Christensen scored for the Bulls, while Martinsson stopped 32 of 33 shots he faced for his third consecutive win.
It was a spirited opening 20 minutes of play between the two teams. The Bulls best chances came on a penalty kill late in the period as both Riley Christensen and AJ Duggan had quality scoring plays that were denied by goaltender Drew Vogler. At the other end of the rink Anton Martinsson was also kept busy with several shots from long distance and then a few Topeka plays in tight at the side of the net. Amarillo outshot Topeka 10-8 in the first period.
The Bulls spent a lot of extra time inside their own zone in the second period but didn’t allow Topeka to get on the scoreboard. Anton Martinsson and the Bulls defense did a great job protecting the front of the net. Drew Vogler was also busy in the period making a huge glove stretch save on forward Charlie Combs. The RoadRunners outshot the Bulls 17-8 in the second period.
Charlie Combs forced a turnover by Topeka early in the third period and that led to the Bulls’ first goal. Combs passed the puck in front of the net where Joey DiBenedetto was there to fire the puck into the open net.
Six minutes later the Bulls extended their advantage to 2-0 when Will Harrison scored on a breakaway shorthanded from Joe Leonidas and Charlie Combs. Topeka broke the shutout string of Martinsson with a goal in minute Riley Christensen scored for the Bulls in the final minute to play when he retrieved the puck off a turnover and put it behind goaltender Drew Vogler.
The Amarillo Bulls return to action on Wednesday when they visit the Wichita Falls Wildcats at 7 pm. Fans can tune into the action live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, online at a www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV courtesy of Fast Hockey beginning with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 6:40 pm. Amarillo Bulls hockey presented by Westgate Mall follows at 7 pm.
Hockey is back at the Budweiser Bull in the Amarillo Civic Center next weekend when the Bulls host the Wenatchee Wild at 7 pm. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets including United Supermarkets or online at www.amarillobulls.com. Fans can also call 806-242-1122.