AMARILLO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls were facing a little adversity on Friday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
After two periods, the Bulls were tied 2-2 with the New Mexico Mustangs who were giving the home side all they could handle. But the Bulls starred back and rose to the occasion with three goals to beat the Mustangs 5-2 for their 28th win of the season and eighth in a row.
“This was the first time that we had some adversity to face in the third period,” said Bulls Assistant Coach Rocky Russo. “We went into the locker room and Dennis (Williams) challenged all 20 guys to step up and show what they were made of, and get back to doing all the little things right again. The guys responded fantastically and did exactly what we asked of them. We outshot New Mexico 17-3 and found a way to score a couple.”
It was a fast paced opening 20 minutes of hockey that the Bulls dominated in the shots department with 22. It was New Mexico that tallied the first goal at the 13:22 mark on a rebound in front of the net. However, the Bulls quickly got it back when Greg Gibson started the play and ended it with a shot that was tipped in by Matt Johnson at 16:05.
In the second period New Mexico took a 2-1 lead with a shot from the high slot area. But Amarillo worked hard and pulled even when Greg Gibson converted a Mustang turnover and deposited it into the back of the net at the 17:42 mark. Brooks Behling earned an assist on the tally.
The third period was all Amarillo as they controlled most of the play with hard work and determination. Michael Erickson gave the Bulls the lead when he scored on a scramble in front of the net with help from Matt Johnson at 6:36. Geoff Fortman then scored his first of the season with a shot from the point 2:12 later from Omar Mullan. Brooks Behling sealed the win with a shot from the blue line less than two minutes after that to round out the scoring. Karl Beckman added an assist.
Bulls Head Coach Dennis Williams said the team’s conditioning has been a key to their success in the third period of games this season.
“I think a lot of our conditioning is attributed to our training with Jimmy Boyd at Elite MMA,” said Williams. “We go over there and he pushes the boys hard. We don’t do a lot of conditioning on the ice, and a lot of our workouts come Mondays and Wednesdays with him. It’s a different kind of training, a mental toughness, and it’s also a 45 minute cardio workout.”
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the New Mexico Mustangs 55-25. There were a total of four power plays in the game with each team having two but not scoring.
There is one more game left for the Amarillo Bulls this week and it takes place on Saturday night, New Years’ Eve, at 7 pm when they face the New Mexico Mustangs at 7 pm. It’s Kids Inc Night and the Bulls will be wearing their specialty jerseys with a live auction to follow immediately after the game. All proceeds will benefit Kids Inc.
Tickets for Saturday’s games are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Suite 101, in the Amarillo Building; Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets including United Supermarkets. For further information on group rates, flex packs or Corporate Marketing Partnerships please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.