AMARILLO, TX – It will come down to one game to decide the South Division Final.
Two goals in the third period snapped a 2-2 tie and powered the Amarillo Bulls past the Topeka RoadRunners 4-2 on Friday night at The Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. The victory by the Bulls evened the Best-Of-Five Series at 2-2 with a fifth and deciding game set for Topeka, Kansas on Monday night at 7 pm.
It was a 2-2 tie to start the third period, and the Bulls would take the lead when Dan McDougall hammered a shot home unassisted at the 10:06 mark. The Bulls had been working hard and battling against the Topeka which ended up with 16 that hopeful.
The Bulls fell behind and that set up what proved to be the game winning goal. The Bulls would add a fourth goal late in the game when TJ Sarcona scored on a feed from Joe Kozlak at 16:27.
After that the Bulls defense got stronger and goaltender Nikifor Szczerba was outstanding, making some big saves. Szczerba turned aside 46 of 48 shots he faced including 17 alone in the third period.
The game started when the Bulls got the first break. Zack Smoot fired a shot in the top corner beating Rasmus Tirronen at the 3:42 mark of the first period. The play was set up when defenseman John Rey took the puck off the Bulls goal line after a near scoring attempt by the RoadRunners. Topeka tied the game up on the power play about three minutes later.
In the second period Topeka raced out to a 2-1 lead with an even strength goal, but the Bulls power play went to work scoring on a 5 on 3. Derek Hills blasted home is first of the playoffs from Zack Smoot and Dan McDougall.
The Topeka RoadRunners outshot the Amarillo Bulls 48-36 in the game including in the opening 40 minutes when the visitors had a 31-24 shot advantage. There were a total of 10 power plays with each team scoring once.
Fans can watch game 5 on the big screen at Joe Tacos located on Coulter Road in Amarillo on Monday at 7 pm. There is no cover change and fans are more than welcome to come out and cheer on their favorite Bulls player.