BLAINE, MN – The Amarillo Bulls remained unbeaten in opening games at the North American Hockey League Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota.
The Bulls posted their 5th consecutive win beating the Wenatchee Wild 5-2 to give Jon Rogger his first victory as coach in Amarillo. The difference was the second period when the Bulls were able to score three times to erase two one-goal deficits.
Joey Di Benedetto scored twice, including one into an empty net, and set up another goal for the Bulls. Cody Gylling, Tristan Rostagno and Brady Crabtree had singles. Goaltender Jacob Weatherly stopped 34 of 36 shots he faced to notch the win. Weatherly came under fire especially in the third period but made some calming saves to prevent the Wild from coming back.
It was a fast skating opening period with Wenatchee notching the first goal on the power play in the final 20 seconds.
Defenseman Tristan Rostagno tallied the Bulls first goal of the season when he capitalized on a chance in front of the net. One minute later, the Wild grabbed a 2-1 lead on a turnover in the Bulls zone.
Joey DiBenedetto tied the game 2-2 when he scored on the power play, converting a play at the side of the net from Kasper Emanuelsson and Cody Gylling. Four minutes after that, the Bulls took the lead for good when Cody Gylling was left uncovered. DiBenedetto’s hustle for a puck prevented an icing call.
The Bulls sealed the game in the final stanza when Connor Wood spotted Brady Crabtree open at the 5:38 mark. JJ Huerena also collected an assist on the play. Down the stretch in the game, it was more of the goaltending of Weatherly who was able to make some big saves to preserve the win. DiBenedetto rounded out the scoring with an empty net goal from Jesper Synnelius.
Each team was 1 for 4 on the power during the game. The Wild outshot the Bulls 36-33, including 14-9 in the third period.
The Amarillo Bulls will look for their 2nd win of the season tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon when they face the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in a rematch of the last two Robertson Cup National Champions. The game can be heard live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, www.amarillobulls.com and watched on PPV courtesy of Fast Hockey beginning with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 4:10 pm. The puck drop follows with Denis J. Puska describing the hard hitting action.
Hockey returns to the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center next Friday and Saturday as the Bulls host the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees in the home opening weekend. The face off for both games is at 7 pm.
Full and Half Season Tickets, as well as 10 Game Flex Packs are currently on sale for your Amarillo Bulls. There are a variety of packages available and pricing to fit all budgets. For further information please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122 or visit 301 South Polk in the Amarillo Building.