AMARILLO, TX – As the Amarillo Bulls begin their two week road trip with practice at NYTEX Center in North Richland Hills, they received some good news today (Monday).
Goaltender Collin Delia was selected as the Brian’s Custom Sports North American Hockey League’s Goaltender Of The Month for October. The Easton Hockey NAHL Forward of the Month is Alec Butcher from the Kenai River Brown Bears. The Easton Hockey NAHL Defenseman of the Month is Josh Bretner from the Austin Bruins.
Although he was thrilled to be a part of a National Championship club last season, Bulls second-year goaltender Collin Delia, 19, was in mostly a supportive role last season to teammate Paul Berrafato. However, with a new season, brought new opportunity for the Rancho Cucamonga, California, native.
Going into the season, head coach Dennis Williams made it clear that Delia (6’2/180) and Berrafato would split the game time 50/50, and Delia has ran with the new situation. Delia is currently the top goaltender in the NAHL and his month of October was a big reason why. Delia went a perfect 4-0 and allowed just two goals in 243+ minutes of action. His goals against average during the month was a miniscule .49 and his save percentage was 98.1%. Delia had two shutouts in October as he blanked Wichita Falls on October 4th and then Topeka on October 11th. He allowed just one goal in a 7-1 win over Corpus Christi on October 18th and allowed just one goal in a 2-1 win over Rio Grande Valley on October 25th. Delia’s .93 goals against average and 96.5% save percentage both current lead in the NAHL.
Bulls head coach Dennis Williams said that Delia has risen to the challenge so far this season. “I think what stands out most about Collin this season is his confidence. He believes that no matter the situation or the difficulty, he can stop every shot that is going to come his way. When you combine that with his size and his skill set, you get a guy who has really performed well in goal this season,” said Williams. Williams said that despite the success that Delia has had this season, his plan is to stick with the current 50/50 rotation with him and Berrafato. “I think both guys want to be #1 and I think the formula we have right now is working for the entire team. I think both guys know when they are going to play and prepare as such. Both are battling hard and when it comes to crunch time, we will just have to see where we stand.”
Delia said that he relishes the competition with Berrafato this season because it only helps the team. “I think I really have gotten into a good grove because you know when you are going to play and you prepare for it. I think Paul and I push each other. We have a great working relationship and push one another to become better goalies,” said Delia. “I really worked hard in the off-season to get in better shape and be able to perform anytime I am called upon. I know that is what is going to get me to the next level. I just want to remain confident in my abilities and know that I will be there anytime I am called upon to make saves.”
The Amarillo Bulls begin a two week six game road trip with the first of two against the Lone Star Brahmas tomorrow (Tuesday) at NYTEX Center beginning at 7:30 pm. Fans can tune into the game live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV Courtesy of Fast Hockey beginning with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 7:15 pm. Denis J. Puska has the call at 7:30 pm.
Hockey returns to the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Friday, Nov. 22 and Saturday, Nov. 23 as the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees make their first trip to the Texas Panhandle to face the Bulls. Friday is Military Appreciation Night, while Saturday fans can support the food bank. 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.