RIO RANCHO, NMX – Matt Johnson scored twice and Brandon Lubin added three assists to power the Amarillo Bulls past the New Mexico Mustangs 7-3 on Saturday night at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho New Mexico.
It was the Bulls 22nd victory of the season and it avenged a 5-2 setback to the Mustangs the night prior.
The Bulls raced out to a 4-0 lead early in the second period before New Mexico mounted a comeback thanks two power play goals and an even strength marker to make it 4-3. However, the Bulls went to work in the third period and put the game away with three goals. The key turning point of the contest was Amarillo scoring a shorthanded goal early in the third period when Matt Johnson blasted one by Matt Madore. Forwards Joe Kozlak and Mitch Rogge netted other third period goals and Steve Bolton won his second straight against New Mexico.
It was a terrific opening period for the Amarillo Bulls as they looked strong firing 18 shots on goal and scored twice. First Dan Sherer scored on a 5 on 3 power play from Derek Hills and Brandon Lubin. The Bulls were not done and extended their advantage to 2-0 when Matt Johnson scored on a centering pass from Joe Kozlak.
The second period started well for the Bulls as they added two goals in the first four minutes to skate to a 4-0 advantage. Zack Smoot and Ricky DeRosa fired the goals, while John Rey, Brandon Lubin and Michael Erickson earned assists.
However, the Mustangs battled back in the second half of the period with three consecutive goals, including two via the power play.
Ryan Taylor made his return to the line-up after being gone since The Showcase in Minnesota with a hand injury in September.
The Amarillo Bulls begin a five game home stand next weekend with a big series against the Topeka RoadRunners on Friday and Saturday night at 7 pm at the Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. It will be a first place showdown between the two teams. The RoadRunners have a slim one point lead over the Bulls for first place in the South Division standings. Amarillo still has several games in hand.
Tickets are available at all Panhandle Ticket Outlets including United Supermarkets, Civic Center Box Office or online at www.amarillobulls.com. For further information on group tickets, flex packs or to purchase single game tickets, call the Bulls office at 806-242-1122.