TOPEKA, KS – The Amarillo Bulls long and winding two-week road trip came to an end on Saturday night, and so did their five-game winning streak.
The Topeka RoadRunners connected for four second period goals and went on to beat the Bulls 6-1 at Kansas Expo Center Landon Arena. Despite the loss the Bulls remained tied for first place in the North American Hockey League’s South Division with the idol Lone Star Brahmas. Amarillo’s six game road swing that included four at the NAHL Showcase concluded with a mark of 4-1-1.
Jeff Solow provided the lone Bulls offense in the first period, and goaltender Nikita Babintsev took the loss in goal.
The game started well for the Amarillo Bulls notching the game’s first goal. Jeff Solow scored on a blast from the point from Brendan Walkom and Carson Moniz at 6:23. That goal sent Topeka starter Mike Rockwell to the bench in place of Ryan Snowden who went on to play a solid game turning aside all pucks he faced. Three minutes later, the RoadRunners tied the game when Matt Barnes scored a power play goal on a hard shot from the blueline with traffic in front. Topeka outshot Amarillo 12-10 in the first period.
The middle stanza didn’t start well for the Bulls as Topeka took the lead for good when Marcus Russell finished off a scramble in front of the net at the 1:44 mark. The RoadRunners took command of the game with two more goals just 2:01 apart to make it 4-1. That sent starter Nikita Babintsev to the bench for Kyle Madore. Head Coach Matt Nicholson called a timeout to settle down his troops and it seemed to help as the Bulls played much better despite give up another goal. Topeka outshot Amarillo 15-5 in the second period.
The Bulls came out much stronger in the third period and had 14 shots on goal but all were turned aside by Ryan Snowden. George Mika and Hayden Broomhead had the Bulls best scoring chance but were robbed by the glove of the RoadRunners goaltender. Topeka added a sixth goal to round out the scoring midway through the third period.
The Topeka RoadRunners outshot the Amarillo Bulls 34-29. There just seven power plays combined within the two teams with the RoadRunners scoring two.
It’s back to the road next weekend for the Amarillo Bulls as they face two different teams. On Friday, the Bulls travel to Wichita Falls to face the Wildcats at 7 pm and then on Saturday the Lone Star Brahmas at NYTEX Sports Center at 7:30 pm. Fans can tune into the action live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, online at www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV with Fast Hockey beginning with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show 20 minutes before the puck is dropped.
Hockey returns to the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center the weekend of Friday, Oct. 14 (Oct. 14, 15, 16) when the Bulls host the Lone Star Brahmas in a three game set at 7 pm. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk or by calling 806-242-1122. Fans can also get tickets from the Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket locations including United Supermarkets.