AMARILLO, TX – Seventeen seconds….
That, along with special teams proved to be the difference in the game for the Amarillo Bulls against the Topeka RoadRunners on Saturday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. The Bulls surrendered two goals 17 seconds apart that snapped a 1-1 tie and gave Topeka a 4-2 victory. Amarillo’s special teams were kept busy as the RoadRunners had eight power plays and were able to connect twice.
It was a feisty hard fought affair between the two teams that was similar to Friday night’s game. The Bulls were undisciplined at times and the two power play goals provided enough swing in the momentum.
There was no scoring in the first period of play. Topeka came out flying in the first period hemming the Bulls deep inside their zone for the first five minutes. After the Bulls settled down and killed off a four minute power play, they were able to get rolling and put pressure on the Topeka defense and goaltender Tyler Johnson. Topeka outshot the Bulls 9-7 in the first period.
Joey DiBenedetto brought the crowd into the game in the second period when he scored on a breakaway at the 6:39 mark of the stanza. DiBenedetto was able to get the puck around the Topeka defense and race in on goal where he fired a shot that beat the netminder cleanly. Late in the period the RoadRunners pulled even on a scramble near the side of the net.
DiBenedetto, Joey Molinaro and Nick Santoro nearly gave the Bulls the lead in the final seconds of the period but their chance in front of the net was turned aside by goaltender Johnson.
The early energy to start the third period was firmly on the RoadRunners shoulders and they were able to score the two goals in a short span to lead 3-1. The first one was a shot from the high slot area, while the second one came from just inside the blue line by a defenseman.
The Bulls were not done yet as newcomer Koal Norris scored his first goal in the South Division by hammering a shot past the goaltender. Defensemen Phil Fromberger and Jeff Solow added helpers on the play at the 6:47 mark. A short time later, Topeka was rewarded another power play and it didn’t take long for the visitors to find the back of the net and extend their lead back to two.
Amarillo pulled it’s goaltender in the final two minutes of the 90 seconds of regulation but were not able to squeeze on into the net.
For the third straight game the Bulls were able to get the shot advantage, this time 42-38, including 15-13 in the third period.
That two game set versus the Topeka RoadRunners ended the first leg of a three consecutive weekend slate of home games. The second leg is set for next Friday and Saturday against the Odessa Jackalopes at 7 pm. Friday is NASCAR night with a special prize to be given away. Saturday is Hope and Healing Place Night. The Bulls will wear specialty jerseys and a live auction follows immediately after the game with proceeds to benefit that organization.
Tickets 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 10 Game Flex Packs please call 806-242-11122.