AMARILLO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls are headed back to the playoffs for a second year in a row.
The Amarillo Bulls beat the New Mexico Mustangs 5-2 on Friday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. Three third period goals and solid goaltending from Gregg Gruehl lifted the Bulls to their 34th win of the season, two shy of equaling their mark of 36, set one year ago.
“I thought, outside of Gregg Gruehl, that we played well for a total of five minutes in that game,” said Bulls Head Coach Dennis Williams. “I thought our execution and our details were poor. We found a way to win which was obviously a good thing, but if we play like that down the stretch it’s going to be a quick trip in the playoffs.”
The game was tied 2-2 heading into the final period when the Bulls struck for two goals 59 seconds apart. Clint Carlisle scored his first of the game off a rebound from Brooks Behling and Greg Gibson at the 1:57 mark. Kozlak gave the Bulls a two goal advantage when he converted a New Mexico turnover and put the puck in the back of the net. Near the midway mark of the stanza, Clint Carlisle added his second of the game when he scored on a deflection from Brooks Behling and Geoff Fortman.
Carlisle had two goals in the game, while Greg Gibson added a goal and two assists, and Brooks Behling chipped in three assists.
Williams said the biggest challenge for the Bulls will be how they respond in the second game tomorrow night against New Mexico.
“Our response tomorrow better be that we are going to show everybody that we are the best team out there,” Williams said. “We can even take a game like tonight where we didn’t play our best and we can go out there and get the sweep.”
In the game, the Bulls gained an early 1-0 advantage when Greg Gibson fired a high shot in the top corner beating Randy Graham at the 3:11 mark. Brooks Behling and Karl Beckman picked up assists on the goal. The Mustangs tied the game up midway through the first on a shorthanded marker. Amarillo outshot New Mexico 16-12 in the first period.
The second period started well for Amarillo as Tyler Deresky made it 2-1 on a power play goal from Brooks Behling and Greg Gibson at 1:37. An odd-man rush up the ice just over 10 minutes later pulled New Mexico even at 2-2. It was one of several breaks the Mustangs had during the second period of play. Each team had 15 shots on goal.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the New Mexico Mustangs 50-33 including 18-6 in the third period. There were a total of seven power plays with the Bulls going 1 for 3.
Fans won’t want to miss another exciting Bulls’ game tomorrow night when they host the New Mexico Mustangs again at 7 pm. It’s the final game of a four game home stand and will be the club’s last home game until the end of the month.
Tickets are available at the Bulls Hockey Office located at 301 South Polk in the Amarillo Building, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets including United Supermarkets. For further information on Group Rates, Flex Packs or Corporate Marketing Partnerships, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.