TOPEKA, KS – A tight defensive battle didn’t go the way the Amarillo Bulls had hoped on Friday night at Kansas Expo Center Landon Arena.
The Topeka RoadRunners scored the game’s lone goal early in the second period and then held on to nip the Bulls 1-0. It was just the Bulls 5th loss of the season which is still the fewest in the North American Hockey League. It was also the first time this season that the Bulls had been blanked in a game. Topeka snapped a four game winless skid against Amarillo, including three straight at home.
Goaltender Paul Berrafato had a solid game for the Bulls keeping them in the game. Spencer Viele posted the shutout stopping all 22 shots he faced including some tough ones in the final 20 minutes.
Newcomer Dan McNamara led the Bulls with five shots, while Clint Carlisle had three.
It was a defensive minded opening 20 minutes of hockey with teams combining for just seven total shots. Much of the play was along the boards with teams keeping it close to the best. The Bulls carried most of the play and outshot Topeka 5-2.
The RoadRunners scored the lone goal of the second period, and it was their ninth shorthanded goal of the season at the 4:14 mark. The Bulls continued to press forward but were unable to beat Spencer Viele. The Bulls outshot Topeka 8-6 in the middle stanza.
The third period featured more offensive attack by the Amarillo Bulls, but several of their shots were blocked by RoadRunners’ players. The Bulls had a power play opportunity in the final 2:48 of the contest and pulled their goaltender but failed to get the equalizer. Each team had nine third period shots.
There were seven total power plays with the Amarillo Bulls going 0 for 5, while Topeka was 0 for 2.
Normally when the Bulls and the RoadRunners get together there are more than 50 shots on goal. It wasn’t the case this evening as the Amarillo Bulls outshot Topeka 22-17.
It’s back to work tomorrow (Saturday) night for the Bulls as they close out their two games set with the Topeka RoadRunners. The Bulls Warm Up Show begins at 6:45 pm with Denis J. Puska on CBS Sports Radio 1440, www.amarillobulls.com and on Pay Per View courtesy of Fast Hockey. The puck drop follows at 7 pm.
The hard hitting action of the North American Hockey League is back at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center next Friday and Saturday when the Bulls host the Texas Tornado at 7 pm. Friday is College Night and tickets are just $5 with a College ID. Tickets can be picked up at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets. For further information on Group Rates, Seven Game Flex Packs or Corporate Marketing Partnerships, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.