AMARILLO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls fired three first-period power play goals and went on to a 7-3 triumph over the Texas Tornado on Friday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. It was the Bulls 37th win of the season and broke the previous record of 36set last year. The Bulls also got some help tonight and were able to stretch their first place lead to 17 points as the Topeka RoadRunners lost in Wenatchee.
“I thought it was a great team effort,” said Bulls Head Coach Dennis Williams. “Our power play was clicking in the first which was big and we capitalized on a five minute major. We got a little sloppy in the second, but I thought our speed was good and we kept to the game plan. We had guys killing penalties who had never done that before and they did a good job stepping up.”
It was the first period that got the Bulls rolling in the contest as they were able to capitalize on the power play and score three times including two goals in the final three minutes.
Brooks Behling notched the first goal on a rebound in front of the net from Greg Gibson and Karl Beckman at 1:15. The Bulls had a full power play for five minutes at the end of the stanza and scored twice. John Gustafsson made his return to the line-up by scoring from Joe Kozlak and TJ Sarcona at 16:02. Seventeen seconds later, Greg Gibson scored on a great shot from the slot from Behling at 16:19. Amarillo dominated the first period and outshot the Tornado 20-6.
It was a wild second period with five goals scored between the two teams. Despite the Bulls being outscored 3-2, they still managed to maintain a 5-3 advantage. Omar Mullan and Greg Gibson’s goals were sandwiched in between three Texas Tornado markers. John Gustafsson, John Rey and Brooks Behling earned assists on the goal. Gibson scored on a poor clear and turnover by the Texas goaltender, while Mullan was set up on a terrific play by John Gustafsson.
The Bulls rounded out the scoring in the third period with two more goals. Omar Mullan pushed the puck across the goal line from Ryan Taylor and TJ Sarcona at 6:09, and then Tyler Deresky scored on a great shot from John Rey and Greg Gibson.
Gibson finished the game with two goals and two assists, while Brooks Behling had three points and John Rey earned two assists.
Goaltender Mike Taffe stopped 30 of 33 shots he faced, including several big ones in the third period. The Bulls outshot the Tornado 51-33 and had a huge advantage of 40-18 through the first 40 minutes.
The Amarillo Bulls and the Texas Tornado will resume their rivalry tomorrow (Saturday) night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. The face-off is set for 7 pm. The Bulls will wear their specialty jerseys with a live auction to follow immediately after the game. The proceeds from the auction will benefit Special Olympics.
Tickets for Saturday’s game 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 Playoff Packages, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.