HIDALGO, TX – The Ranch Rodeo Road Trip couldn’t have gone any better for the defending Robertson Cup Champion Amarillo Bulls.
Tyler Gernhofer scored twice and added two helpers as the Bulls went six for six on the road trip beating the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees 5-3 on Saturday at State Farm Arena. It was also the Bulls eighth win in a row and it also extended their first place lead in the South Division to eight points.
Brendan Vetter, Brady Ferguson and Mike Davis added other Bulls’ goals, while Cody Gylling, and Matt Sieckhaus each had two assists. Goaltender Paul Berrafato stopped 25 of 28 shots he faced to post the win.
“It’s been an amazing past couple of weeks for the team,” said Bulls Assistant Coach Harry Mahood. “Coach Williams and I were talking earlier and remarking what a great accomplishment it is to go on the road and win six games, especially two here in this tough building. This is definitely a highlight of a program that continues to grow and do exceptional things.”
The Amarillo Bulls got on the board first when Tyler Gernhofer fired a high shot under the cross bar for his 19th goal of the season. Mitchell McPherson earned an assist on the play at the 10:13 mark. Four minutes later Rio Grande Valley tied the game up when they followed up a rebound in front of the net. The Bulls power play went to work and made it 2-1. Brendan Vetter completed a scoring play from Cody Gylling and Matt Sieckhaus at 16:59. The Amarillo Bulls were outshot in the opening 20 minutes 12-6.
Gernhofer added a huge timely goal to open the second period when he fired a power play goal just 41 seconds into play. It gave his teammates a 3-1 lead. Matt Sieckhaus and Cody Gylling once again were the playmakers providing assists on the goal. The Killer Bees closed the gap to 3-2 when they tallied their own power play goal just past the midway mark of the period. But the Bulls solid defensive play and transition led to a big fourth goal late in the frame when Brady Ferguson scored on a breakaway from Mike Davis and Tyler Gernhofer.
Amarillo’s five-on-five play was the difference in the third period. In the final two minutes, the Killer Bees pulled their goaltender and managed to score with 1:19 left to make it 4-3. On the ensuing face off the Bulls defensive play was strong and Mike Davis scored into an empty net to round out the scoring.
“The team’s five-on-five play which I thought could have been an area to take a back seat in the last 40 minutes was probably our best of the road trip,” Mahood added. “I was very proud of the players for that.”
Despite outshooting the Killer Bees 8-4 in the third period, the Bulls still trailed in the overall shot department by three 28-25. The Bulls were 2 for 6 on the power play, while the Killer Bees were 1 for 2.
The Amarillo Bulls and the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees will continue their new rivalry with two more games next weekend at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. It’s Military Appreciation Night on Friday at 7 pm and all Military can get a free ticket to the game with a valid ID. The Family Freedom Pack is also available with four hotdogs, four cokes and four tickets for just $39. On Saturday it’s High Plains Food Bank Night. Fans can donate two can goods or non-perishable food items to the Bulls Office or Civic Center Box Office and get $4 off a regularly priced adult ticket.
For further information on your Amarillo Bulls please call 806-242-1122 or visit 301 South Polk in the Amarillo Building.