AMARILLO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls offensive firepower that had been held silent the last four games was on display over the final 40 minutes on Saturday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
Michael Davis and Tyler Deresky each scored twice as the Bulls took their frustration out on the visiting Fresno Monsters and blasted them 7-1. It was the Bulls 32nd win of the season and it extended their first place lead on the Texas Tornado and the Topeka RoadRunners to 13 points. The Tornado had the night off on Saturday, while Topeka defeated New Mexico on home ice.
The second period was the turning point in the hockey game as the Bulls scored four times. The stanza took more than an hour to play as it featured four fights.
“We didn’t get off to the start that we wanted,” said Bulls Head Coach Dennis Williams. “But once we got settled and played our brand of hockey then we picked up our play. We kept our cool in the second period, and to score seven goals in the final 40 and outshoot your opponent 39-9 I thought we did a great job.”
It was a scoreless opening 20 minutes of hockey, but the Bulls had their best chance to score on a scramble in front of the net. Monsters goaltender Mac Haight along with his defense kept the puck out of the net that was inching so close to the goal line.
The Bulls exploded for four goals in the middle stanza that featured several skirmishes and two full five minute power plays. Nolan Culver scored his first in a Bulls’ uniform from Brooks Behling and TJ Sarcona just 27 seconds into the stanza. After Fresno tied the game six minutes later, the Bulls pulled ahead for good. Micheal Davis converted a 2 on 1 feed from Zane Popilock and John Rey.
The Bulls power play caught fire on a full two-minute, five-on-three as Michael Erickson netted the third goal from Greg Gibson and Brooks Behling. Tyler Deresky notched the fourth Amarillo goal on a breakaway from Karl Beckman and Greg Gibson at 16:04.
The third period featured more Bulls offense as they tallied three more times. Deresky added his second of the game at the 10 second mark from Greg Gibson and Karl Beckman. Ryan Cole scored the sixth Amarillo marker from newcomer Sam Johnson and John Rey. Michael Davis rounded out the scoring in the final six minutes from Michael Erickson and Nolan Culver.
Gregg Gruehl notched the win in goal stopping 18 of 19 shots he faced. Former Bulls’ goaltender Mac Haight took the loss facing 55 shots including 39 over the final two periods.
Tomorrow is a big day at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. It’s the second annual Sonic Sunday and the game is sold out. All 5,000 tickets have been scooped up by Bulls fans.
The Face-off between the Amarillo Bulls and the Odessa Jackalopes is set for 6 pm. Fans can listen to the game live on ESPN1440, and www.amarillobulls.com fueled by UStream beginning with pregame coverage presented by Wayland Baptist University at 5:45 pm. Denis J. Puska has the puck drop at the top of the hour. The game is also available live on Pay Per View courtesy of Fast Hockey and a high speed internet connection is required in order to view the game.