BLAINE, MN – The Amarillo Bulls fired two third period goals and played tight defense the rest of the way to beat the St. Louis Bandits 5-3 in their final game at the North American Hockey League Showcase, on Saturday morning, in Blaine Minnesota.
The Bulls close out the hockey festival with a mark of 3-1, including back to back wins. This was their toughest test of the Showcase as the Bandits came into the game undefeated. It was also an entertaining contest as both teams worked hard and skated well.
Matt Johnson gave the Bulls the lead in the third period when he tipped home a shot from Derrick Hills at 8:49. Then the Bulls would make it 5-3 when Mitch Rogge scored from Zac Smoot.
Bulls goaltender Nikifor Szczerba was terrific in net making some key saves over the final 40 minutes to keep his team in the game.
The start of the game featured a fight involving Bryan Mitchell of the Bulls and a St. Louis forward. The Bulls jumped out to a 1-0 advantage when Chris Cass scored on a nice feed from Matt Johnson at 4:11. Terrance Johnson also got an assist on the marker. The Bandits tied the game up on the power play off a quick face-off.
In the second period the Bulls regained the advantage just 61 seconds in when Dan McDougal slid the puck between the legs of the Bandits goaltender to make it 2-1. Terrance Johnson set up the play with a good rush up the ice.
St. Louis then took a 3-2 lead with back-to-back goals 51 seconds apart. Bulls Head Coach Dennis Williams called a timeout after the goal and that calmed his team down. Tim Prinz would tie the game up for Amarillo when he finished off a nice pass from forward Sheldon Taylor.
The Amarillo Bulls Inaugural Home Opener is less than a week away when they take on the Texas Tornado at 7 pm at The Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. The first 1,000 fans get an inaugural game puck and the night is sponsored by Amarillo National Bank. Tickets are available at all Panhandle Ticket Outlets or on line at www.amarillobulls.com. For further information call the Bulls office at 806-242-1122.