AMARILLO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls have drawn first blood in their South Division Semi-Final Series with the Wichita Falls Wildcats on Friday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
Timely goals in the third period broke open a close game and lifted the Bulls to a 4-2 triumph over the Wichita Falls Wildcats and give them a 1-0 lead in the Best-of-Five Series. The Bulls led 2-1 entering the third period when Tyler Gernhofer and Brendan Vetter scored six minutes apart to make it 4-1.
The second game of the series is set for tomorrow (Saturday) night at 7 pm with the Bulls looking to use home ice to their advantage.
Mike Davis scored twice for Amarillo, while Gernhofer and Vetter picked up singles. Collin Delia notched the win in goal stoping 27 of 29 shots he faced.
It was a fast start for both teams in the first period but the Bulls would net the first goal when Mike Davis’ shot was miss-handled by goaltender David Zevnik and went into the net. Kyle Gattelaro and Joe Grabowski earned helpers on the play by moving the puck quickly up the ice.
There were 13 shots combined in the first period with the Wildcats having the edge 7-6. No power plays as the teams played it close to the best despite some solid body checking.
Special teams were the story in the second period and it was penalty killing on display. The Wichita Falls Wildcats pulled even with a shorthanded goal from the point. Late in the period, the Bulls take the lead when Mike Davis stole the puck away from David Zevnik who misplayed it behind is own net. Davis put the puck into the open net for his second of the game. The Bulls outshot the Wildcats 11-9 in the second period and 18-16 overall.
It was all Bulls for the first nine minutes of the third period. Tyler Gernhofer scored just 43 seconds into scoring the teajs, on a shot that beat goaltender Zevnik on the glove side. Eric Purcell and Roman Ammirato grabbed assists on the play. On a time out, Brendan Vetter made it 4-1 from Brady Ferguson.
After a time-out the Bulls scored again as Brendan Vetter scored on a face-off win from Brady Ferguson at 9:01. That goal sent goaltender Zevnik to the bench in favor of Scott Munroe.
The Wildcats responded by rounding the scoring 67 seconds later with their final goal. The Bulls defense closed the door and prevented the offence from scoring.
There were six total powerplays with the Amarillo Bulls going 0 for 2 and the wildcats were 0-2.
The Wichita Falls Wildcats outshot the Amarillo Bulls 29=28 including 13-10 in the third period.
Fans are encouraged to support the Amarillo Bulls and their playoff push tomorrow (Saturday) night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center at 7 pm. The first 500 fans will receive a playoff t-shirt courtesy from Seven Gril and bar and Village Cleaners on Hill Side
Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets. For further information on group rates, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.