AMARILLO, TX – Special teams were the difference between the Amarillo Bulls and the Topeka RoadRunners on Friday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
Three of the game’s five goals were scored on the power play as the Amarillo Bulls dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to the Topeka RoadRunners. It was the Bulls first loss in four games and it shrunk their South Division lead to four points with another match-up between the two teams set for tomorrow (Saturday) night at 7 pm.
Roman Ammirato and Mike Davis netted goals for Amarillo, while Brendan Vetter, Cody Gylling, Tyler Gernhofer and Joe Grabowski had assists. Paul Berrafato stopped 23 of 26 shots he faced and took the loss.
After a slow start by the Bulls, they took over and played well in the final 40 minutes but had a hard time breaking through the Topeka defense and goaltender PJ Bridges. Penalties hurt Amarillo including, one early in the second and another that ended regulation time in the third period that gave the RoadRunners the victory in extra time.
The first period saw the Bulls produce just seven shots on goal. The Topeka RoadRunners garnered the game’s first goal on a sharp angled shot that eluded goaltender Paul Berrafato midway through the first. Each team had a power play opportunity in the first period, but failed to capitalize. The Bulls had some quality chances late in the period including ones from Tim Moore and Matt Sieckhaus. The RoadRunners outshot the Bulls 13-7.
It was a better second period for the Bulls despite falling behind 2-0 on a power play marker early in the stanza. But special teams also proved to be helpful for Amarillo as Roman Ammirato scored off a face-off win to cut the deficit to one goal. Cody Gylling and Brendan Vetter had assists on the marker at the 10:26 mark. The Bulls outshot the RoadRunners 14-6 in the second.
The Bulls came out strong in the third period determined to get the game even and force overtime. After a Topeka penalty in the final 90 seconds, the Bulls pulled their goaltender to gain a two man advantage. With 24 seconds remaining, Joe Grabowski’s shot returned off the boards and hit the goaltender in the back of the skates. The puck was tapped in by Captain Mike Davis and Tyler Gernhofer also got an assist on the play.
In overtime the RoadRunners scored the game winner when a shot from the point just got past goaltender Paul Berrafato. The goal was scored just three seconds after the Bulls had killed off a penalty.
Despite being outshot 7-6 in the third period and overtime, the Amarillo Bulls gained the final overall advantage 27-26 over Topeka.
There were 13 total power plays with the Amarillo Bulls going 2 for 6 and Topeka was 1 for 7.
The Amarillo Bulls and the Topeka Road Runners hit the ice tomorrow night at 7 pm at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. It’s Unique Individuals Night and the first 500 fans receive a Bulls Lunch Bag. It’s also kids appreciation night and all children get in free with the purchase of an adult ticket.
Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets including United Supermarkets. For further information on Group Rates or 2014-15 Season Tickets, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.