FRISCO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls completed their successful sweep of the Texas Tornado at Dr. Pepper Arena on Saturday night. Three third period goals and outstanding goaltending from Gregg Gruehl lifted the Amarillo Bulls to a 3-2 triumph over the Tornado.
The victory was the Bulls 36th of the season and equaled the mark the team set last year.
“The key ingredients to success is that we wanted to get pucks out and pucks deep and all of the simple things,” said Bulls Head Coach Dennis Williams after the hard earned win. “But the most important part of the recipe is hard work. I thought for 40 minutes they took the play to us and we elevated our game in the third period. At the end of the day, it comes down to wins on the road and it doesn’t how you get them done, you get the two points and move on.”
Saturday’s contest had all of the drama from the previous night with the Bulls having to rally to secure the victory.
This time, it was a tight defensive game between the two teams with Texas maintaining a slim 1-0 lead entering the third period. The Bulls offensive attack got rolling and quickly quieted the large crowd. Greg Gibson scored on a quick play off the face off from Brooks Behling and Clint Carlisle at 5:05.
The Bulls were not done yet, and it was the special teams that gone into the act on the next goal. Brandon Lubin wired a shot past goaltender Hunt Leisner to make it 2-1. That was Amarillo’s 13th shorthanded goal of the season which leads the North American Hockey League. Less than a minute later, Brooks Behling increased the advantage to 3-1 from Greg Gibson and John Rey at 13:06.
The Tornado reduced the gap to 3-2 29 seconds later but that would be as close as they would get. Gregg Gruehl was tremendous in net stopping 42 of 44 shots he faced including 29 in the first 40 minutes. Coach Williams said that Michael Erickson and Ryan Taylor also had terrific games for the Bulls.
“We had a lot of guys who played great games,” Williams said. “Ryan Taylor played well for us and Mike Erickson worked hard up and down the ice. The heart and soul kind of guys and those are the types of players you need. They may not have scored any goals tonight and done anything offensively, but they came up big. Matt Johnson had a huge blocked shot in the third period.”
There was one goal scored in the first two periods. The Texas Tornado converted a play inside Amarillo’s territory midway through the second period. Both teams played well and had their chances but the goaltenders came up with some big saves.
The Texas Tornado outshot the Amarillo Bulls 41-24. There were a total of 12 power plays in the contest with the Tornado not being able to tally on any of the eight opportunities.
The Amarillo Bulls have next weekend off and won’t return to action until Friday, Feb. 24 and Saturday, Feb. 25 with a pair of return games against the rival Texas Tornado at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. It’s Parents Weekend, with several Bulls’ family members expected to be in attendance. It’s Scout Night on Friday, while on and Saturday the Bulls will wear their Special Olympic Jerseys with a live auction to follow immediately after the game.
Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk in the Amarillo Building, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets including Supermarkets. For further information on Group Rates, Playoff Packages or Corporate Marketing Partnerships, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.