FRESNO, CA – The Amarillo Bulls trip to California got off to a tough start on Friday night at Selland Arena in Fresno.
The Fresno Monsters beat the Bulls in a tight contest 3-2. Despite only collecting a single point, Amarillo moved to a six-point lead over Texas in the South Division, following the Tornado’s loss in New Mexico.
It was a game dominated by the goaltenders as Tomas Sholl of Fresno and Mike Taffe for the Bulls played very well. The shootout was even after five players aside and took two sudden death rounds before the Monsters won the contest.
“I thought we worked hard tonight,” said Bulls Assistant Coach Rocky Russo. “We got away from our game for certain stretches and they were able to dictate the play. Fresno had the No. 1 team in the NAHL in their building and had nothing to lose and did a good job pressing the issue. We played very well in the overtime, and I thought Mike Taffe was outstanding in net.
“For us, we will have to re-group and play a full sixty minutes of hockey tomorrow night to come out of the road trip with three out of four points.”
The Bulls grabbed a 2-1 lead in the third period on a nice goal by Brooks Behling. John Rey and Clint Carlisle earned assists on the marker at the 6:15 mark. In the final two minutes of regulation time, the Monsters kept the puck inside Amarillo end and tied the game up to force overtime.
It was a strong opening 20 minutes for the Amarillo Bulls with several good stretches of play inside the Fresno Monsters zone. There was no scoring and the Bulls outshoot the Monsters 10-7.
The Bulls had a five minute power play to start the second period after John Gustafsson was hit in the boards at the end of the first, but couldn’t score. After Fresno killed off another penalty, they proceeded to get their own man advantage and capitalized to take a 1-0 lead. That goal seemed to fire up the visitors and after an Omar Mullan fight, the Bulls tied the game when Michael Davis’ pass was tipped home by Brandon Lubin at 11:25. Michael Erickson also earned an assist on the goal.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot Fresno 38-27 including 12-7 in the third period. There were just five power plays in the game with the Bulls going 0 for 3 and the Monsters were 1 for 2.
The Bulls and Monsters will close out their two game series tomorrow (Saturday) night at Selland Arena at 9:35 Central, 7:35 Pacific. There is no radio broadcast for the contest and fans can tune into the game live on Pay-Per-View courtesy of Fast Hockey. A high speed internet connection is required in order to view the game.