AMARILLO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls have some company atop the North American Hockey League’s South Division.
A late third period rally fell short as the Bulls dropped a 4-2 decision to the Topeka Road Runners on Saturday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center before a crowd of over 3,500.
The Bulls first place lead has been reduced to just two points with the RoadRunners playing two more games Monday and Tuesday against the Wichita Falls Wildcats at home.
Brady Ferguson and Joe Grabowski scored for the Bulls in the third period, while Collin Delia took the loss in goal.
The difference in the game was goaltender PJ Bridges who made some outstanding saves in the first 45 minutes to prevent the Bulls from scoring and keeping his team in front.
That solid goaltending was on display by both Bridges and Delia in the first period as both made tremendous saves to keep the scoresheet clean. Delia made some leg saves near the side of the net, while Bridges grabbed the puck near the goal line and then bailed his team out when they coughed up the puck defensive;y. The Bulls outshot the RoadRunners 14-9.
The second period saw the RoadRunners race out to a 2-0 advantage scoring in a span of less than two minutes. The first was off a face-off win and then second came via the power play. Mike Davis had the best scoring chance for the Bulls late in the period but was he was stopped in close by Bridges. Topeka had the shot advantage 14-7.
Special teams were the story in the third period as all four goals were scored via the power play. Topeka jumped out to a 3-0 advantage with a marker just 56 seconds in to the third period. Just over three minutes later, the RoadRunners made it 4-0 on a shot that beat Collin Delia. Paul Berrafato came on in relief in the final 14 minutes and prevented Topeka from adding to its advantage.
The Bulls finally broke through as Brady Ferguson’s blast from Brett Szajner and Mitchell McPherson made it 4-1. That goal excited the Bulls as in the final 11 minutes they controlled much of the play firing 20 shots on goal. Dennis Williams pulled the goaltener in the final 80 seconds to mount a late attack. It didn’t’ take long before Mitchell McPherson scored at the 18:56 mark on the power play to the deficit down to two from Joe Grabowksi and McPherson.
Amarillo fired everything at the Topeka net but Bridges made some big saves to keep his team in front.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Topeka RoadRunners 20-11in the third period 41-34 overall.
The game featured 16 total power plays with the Bulls going 2 for 5 and the RoadRunners were 3 for 11.
It’s back on the road next weekend for the Amarillo Bulls as they face the Lone Star Brahmas on Friday and Saturday at NYTEX Center in Northland Richland Hills, TX. 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 exciting play by play action at 7:30 pm.
Don’t forget Hockey returns to the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Friday, Mar. 21 and Saturday, Mar. 22 when they face the Wichita Falls Wildcats at 7 pm. This will mark the final regular season home games for the Bulls.
Tickets are available at the Bulls Hockey 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 2014-15 Season Tickets please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.