WICHITA FALLS, TX – The Amarillo Bulls’ dominance of the Wichita Falls continued on Saturday night at Kay Yeager Coliseum.
Four third period goals including two in a span of five minutes lifted the Bulls to a 6-3 triumph over the Wildcats for their 10th consecutive win, dating back to last season. It was the Bulls fifth win of the season and fourth in a row. Amarillo now trails the Topeka RoadRunners and the Wildcats by three points for first place in the South Division.
Joe Grabowski netted two goals for the Bulls, while Tyler Gernhofer, Brendan McGuire, Kyle Gattelaro, and Brady Ferguson had singles. Paul Berrafato stopped 40 of 43 shots he faced for his second win in a row.
“Watching some film last night, Harry Mahood made a great call on adjustments that we had to make,” said Bulls Head Coach Dennis Williams. “We came out in a 1-2-2 forecheck for the first 40 minutes and the third put more pressure on them. Our guys were able to force turnovers and get some timely goals.”
Williams said it was a good weekend for his charges to get four points against a good team like Wichita Falls in their building.
“We had been fighting the puck over the last couple of weeks and hopefully our guys can get better and learn” he said. “I think a weekend like this is what we needed to start gelling more as a team. We fought off some adversity throughout the game and we were able to score some timely empty net goals to close it out. Paul (Berrafato) was great in net for us and made a lot of key saves.”
It was a better first period for the Amarillo Bulls who were rewarded for their effort with a goal. Joe Grabowski tallied on the power play when his shot eluded goaltender Chase Munroe. Matt Sieckhaus earned an assist on the play at the 7:52 mark. Brendan McGwire nearly got the Bulls a bigger lead, but he was stopped on a breakaway late in the stanza. The Bulls were outshot by the Wildcats 10-9.
The Bulls extended their lead to 2-0 at the 4:11 mark of the second period when Kyle Gattelaro finished off a rebound in front of the net after Mitchell McPherson set up the play with a good shot. The Bulls had a couple of more chances to further extend their advantage but were denied by Chase Munroe. The Wildcats took over play in the final three minutes and tied the game with two goals. The first was off a scramble in the Amarillo zone, and the second was after a player was left uncovered and allowed to go to the front of the net. The Wildcats outshot the Bulls 16-9.
The third period was a tough one for the Bulls in the previous game, but it wasn’t the case in this game. Brendan McGuire gave the Bulls a 3-2 lead when he scored off a chance at the side of the net at 4:07. Four minutes later, Tyler Gernhofer pushed the puck across the goal line that was lying in the goal crease to give his team a two-goal lead. Cody Gylling earned an assist on the play.
The Wildcats mounted another comeback and tallied a shorthanded goal to decrease the Bulls lead to 4-3. In the final minute, Wichita Falls pulled its goaltender for the extra attacker, but it was the Bulls that gained the advantage. Joe Grabowski took the puck near center ice and fired it into the open night. A short time later off a face-off win, Brady Ferguson collected the puck and sent it down the ice into an empty net to round out the scoring.
The Amarillo Bulls were outshot in the game by the Wichita Falls Wildcats 43 -27 including 17-9 in the third period.
There were 13 total power plays with the Bulls scoring the lone power play goal. The Wildcats couldn’t break through on seven attempts and didn’t score a power play goal all weekend.
A four game homestand begins for the Amarillo Bulls next weekend when they host the Topeka RoadRunners on Friday and Saturday at 7 pm. On Friday it’s Family Four Pack and Bring a Buddy Night. Four $39, fans get four hotdogs, four sodas and four tickets, while for $20 fans can get two hotdogs, two sodas and two tickets. Tickets for all Bulls games are available at their 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 Corporate Marketing Partnerships, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.