AMARILLO, TX – The odds were on the side of the Amarillo Bulls heading into the third period of Saturday night’s game on home ice against the Topeka RoadRunners. The Bulls held a 2-1 lead and had notched seven previous wins when leading after 40 minutes, while Topeka hadn’t tasted victory in 15 previous third period deficits.
However, as the Bulls have discovered with the tough season they have had, the odds quickly went in an entirely different direction. The visiting RoadRunners fired three third period goals to hold off Amarillo 4-2. That victory gave Topeka its first sweep in Amarillo in five previous seasons.
Charlie Singerhouse and Michael Forman tallied for the Bulls, while Brian Baker had a strong game between the pipes but didn’t get a lot of support in front of him facing over 40 shots.
It was a highly emotional opening period as fans saw a fight between Joey DiBenedetto and Luka Maver. A short time later, the Bulls strike first as Charlie Singerhouse scores from Tyler Hall and Michael Forman. The RoadRunners tied the game in the final two minutes on a turnover inside Bulls territory. The Bulls had the shots lead early but the RoadRunners settled down and had the shots lead 16-8.
It was another strong second period for the Amarillo Bulls as they came out shooting the puck and took the play to their opponents. In fact, it was Topeka that failed to get a shot on goal for the first six minutes of the stanza and Amarillo peppered shots at goaltender Tyler Johnson. The Bulls finally broke through and took the lead as Joey DiBenedetto moved the puck along the wall to Nick Santoro who quickly moved inside the offensive zone. Santoro threw the puck towards the front of the net and Michael Forman was there to tap it in over the top of goaltender Johnson. Each team had 14 shots in the middle period.
With the odds on their side in the third period the Bulls pressed looking to extend their lead by two and gain a better footing in the contest. But it was the RoadRunners which were able to capitalize on pressure and the second shot beat goaltender Brian Baker on glove side to tie the game 2-2. Special teams were at a minimal during the weekend series with neither team having much power play time. The Bulls had an early threat that was thwarted by Tyler Johnson. The RoadRunners took advantage of their opportunity when a shot from the high slot area went off a stick and in behind Baker to make it 3-2. The RoadRunners tacked on their third goal of the period and fourth of the game on a shot from just inside the blueline.
The Topeka RoadRunners outshot the Amarillo Bulls 42-27 including 12-5 in the third period. Each team had three power plays with Topeka getting the lone marker.
The Amarillo Bulls return to action on Tuesday when they visit the Odessa Jackalopes at Ector County Coliseum at 7 pm. Fans can tune in 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.