GERNHOFER SCORES THREE IN BULLS SHOOTOUT LOSS TO THE JACKALOPES
AMARILLO, TX—Amarillo Bulls Head Coach Matt Nicholson called forward Tyler Gernhofer a game changer because of his big shot.
That game changing style of play was certainly on display on Saturday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. Gernhofer scored three goals to rally the Bulls from a 3-0 third period deficit only go lose 4-3 in a shootout to the rival Odessa Jackalopes. The Bulls got their first point since late December and were able to pull to within 16 points of the IceRays for the fourth and final playoff spot in the South Division. Corpus Christi had the night off.
The offence came out a little quicker on display at the start of the game for the Bulls as they had several opportunities denied by goaltender Dean Shatzer. Forward Charlie Singerhouse had a chance in front of the net that was turned away, and Gernhofer’s first real scoring chance hit the goal post and came out. Odessa notched the game’s first goal late in the first period when Daniel Kiraly scored on a passing play when the Bulls failed to clear the puck out of their own end. The Jackalopes outshot the Bulls 15-6 in the first period.
The Bulls kept pressing in the second period and generated 10 shots on goal and turned several into quality scoring chances but failed to hit the back of the net. Odessa increased its lead to 2-0 on a delayed penalty. Eight minutes later, the Jacks made it 3-0 on a power play goal. Odessa outshot the Bulls 12-10 in the second.
It was a wild third period where Bulls’ fans saw a glimpse just how solid at times the offence can be. The Bulls broke a scoreless drought of over 217 minutes of play when Tyler Gernhofer was left alone along the far boards. He wired a power play goal past goaltender Shatzer to make it 3-1. Joey Molinaro and George Mika got assists on the play. That was the first goal on the power play since before the Christmas Break.
The comeback continued for the Bulls as Gernhofer notched his second of the game with a similar play via the power play just over five minutes later. Tyler Hall and Joey Molinaro provided assists on the play. The dramatics were kept for the final seven minutes when Gernhofer completed his natural hattrick by skating in over the blue line and beating the goaltender stick side. Trent Dillinger added a helper on the play. Odessa outshot Amarillo 13-11.
The overtime session provided plenty of end to end action including chances by Michael Forman and Phil Fromberger but they were unable to win the game. Anton Martinsson was kept busy with some solid saves late in the extra session.
The game then went to a shootout and Daniel Kiraly picked up his second of the game when he snuck one past Martinsson. Newcomer Jeff Solow, and forward Charlie Singerhouse had both of their shots stopped. The dramatics were left for Tyler Gernhofer, looking for his fourth of the game but he was thwarted by the goaltender.
The Odessa Jackalopes outshot the Amarillo Bulls 43-33. Each team had four power plays with Odessa going 1 for 4 and the Bulls were 2 for 4.
It’s back to the road next weekend for the Amarillo Bulls when they visit the fourth place Corpus Christi IceRays on Friday and Saturday at 7 pm. Fans can tune into the action on CBS Sports Radio 1440, online at www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV with Fast Hockey, beginning with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 6:40 pm. Denis J. Puska has the hard hitting action at American Bank Center at 7 pm.
Hockey is back at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Friday, Feb. 5 and Saturday, Feb. 6 when the Bulls welcome the Topeka RoadRunners for the first time this season at 7 pm. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk or by calling 806-242-1122. Additionally, tickets can also be purchased at the Civic Center Box Office or at all United Supermarket locations as well as online at www.panhandletickets.com.