CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – The Amarillo Bulls are one win away from making their third straight trip to the South Division Final.
Captain John Rey scored twice, including an insurance goal in the third period, to lift the Bulls past the Corpus Christi IceRays 5-3 at American Bank Center on Tuesday night. The Bulls lead the Best- Of-Five 2-1 and can wrap up the series with a victory on Wednesday night.
Amarillo raced out to a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes of hockey, but surrendered two goals early in the final stanza. Rey’s second of game gave the Bulls their third 2 goal lead with less than five minutes remaining.
“We have to do a much better job in the third period as Corpus Christi has scored seven of eight goals and that is a concern to us,” said Bulls Head Coach Dennis Williams. “At the day when you are on the road like this you will take the wins and move on. We have to refocus and rebuild to get ready for Game 4 and close out the series.
“They are not an easy team to play against and this isn’t an easy venue. When we take our foot off the gas, they capitalize on it quickly. We have to do a better job of keeping the light switch on the entire game.”
Williams said Captain John Rey led by example in the contest.
“This time of the year you need your captain to be our best play and he was certainly that tonight,” said Williams. “He scored two big goals and got shots through from the point. There were good screens from our guys as well.”
The Bulls generated most of the offensive chances in the first 20 minutes of hockey. The lone goal came off the stick of Ryan Cole who tipped home a shot from Geoff Fortman at 17:19 to give Amarillo a 1-0 advantage. The shots on goal favored the Bulls 16-5.
It was a great offensive thrust by the Bulls in the middle stanza. Captain John Rey started the offense when he wired a shot off the post and in behind Stewart from Tyler Deresky and Brady Ferguson at 2:49. After the IceRays got on the board with a power play marker just over a minute later, it was all Bulls the rest of the way. TJ Sherman scored his second of the post season unassisted at 10:35. The power play went to work late in the period as Geoff Fortman scored at the side of the net from Brady Ferguson and Ryan Cole at 18:12. The Bulls outshot the IceRays 12-9 including 9-0 in the final seven minutes.
The third period was a tough one for the Bulls as two goals early in the stanza by the IceRays closed the gap to 4-3. One goal was in the first 30 seconds that was fired off a sharp-angle which eluded goaltender Paul Berrafato, while the second was scored in the power play.
The Bulls put the game on ice with John Rey’s second of the game. He scored on a delayed penalty call from Blake Roubos at 16:09. The IceRays took a bad penalty in the final three minutes that prevented them from tying the game.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Corpus Christi IceRays 41-25 including 13-11 in the third period. There were 10 total power plays in the contest with the Bulls going 1 for 6 and the IceRays were 2 for 4.
The fourth game of the Best-Of-Five Series between the Bulls and the IceRays is set for tomorrow (Wednesday) night at 7 pm. There will be a watch party once again at Seven Grill and Bar located on Soncy Road.
Broadcast coverage begins with Prelude To The Playoffs at 6:45 pm with Denis J. Puska on CBS Sports Radio 1440, www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV courtesy of Fast Hockey. The puck drop follows at 7 pm.