AMARILLO, TX – Three first period goals help the Amarillo Bulls take Game 1 Of the South Division Semi Final Series with a 5-2 triumph over the Odessa Jackalopes on Friday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
The Bulls scored three in the first despite allowing Odessa to get the game’s first marker. Mike Taffe was solid in net and the Bulls defense didn’t allow the Jackalopes any bid at a comeback attempt.
The second game of the Best-Of-Five series will be played tomorrow (Saturday) night at 7 pm as the Bulls will look to take a commanding lead.
The forward line of Mike Davis, Omar Mullan, and Ryan Taylor had a solid game for the Bulls. Davis scored twice, while Mullan earned two assists. The hard work earned the praise of Bulls Head Coach Dennis Williams who said they were by far the best line all night long.
“I challenged the rest of our team to go out and play like these guys did,” said Williams. “It was a tough, physical game and I thought Odessa came out and worked hard. We played okay in the first but I thought we were stronger in the second and third.”
The Odessa Jackalopes caught the Bulls off guard and jumped out to a 1-0 lead just five minutes into the hockey game on a shot from the point off the face-off, but after that it was all Amarillo. Three goals over a 10 minute span gave the Bulls a 3-1 advantage. Michael Davis tied the game on a power play goal when he tipped home a shot from TJ Sarcona at the 6:31 mark. Brooks Behling gave the Bulls a 2-1 lead when he pushed the puck across the goal line while in front of the net off a pass from TJ Sarcona. Less than two minutes later, Luke Jenkins shot from the point found the back of the net from Geoff Fortman.
The Bulls outshot Odessa 13-12 in the first period.
The second period was all Bulls as they continued to fire plenty of shots at goaltender Connor Hellebuyck with 24 in total. The transition game helped the Bulls extend their advantage to 4-1. Michael Davis notched his second goal of the game when he finished off a play from Michael Erickson and Omar Mullan.
Odessa trimmed the deficit to 4-2 on a goal just past the eight minute mark. Just over two minutes later, Geoff Fortman restored Amarillo’s three-goal cushion when scored unassisted with a terrific shot.
It was a typical Odessa-Amarillo game that featured plenty of physical play right from the opening face-off with several skirmishes taking place after the whistle. There were a total of eight power plays with the Bulls going 1 for 6 while Odessa was just 0 for 2.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Odessa Jackalopes 52-37 including 39-15 over the final 40 minutes.
Prior to the second game of the series at 6 pm, fans are encouraged to take part in the Tailgate Party with free food, refreshments as well as music. When fans purchase four tickets, at the Bulls Office only, they can receive a Bulls’ hat courtesy of UniFirst.
Tickets for the second game of the series are available at 301 South Polk in the Amarillo Building, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets including United Supermarkets. For further information on Group Rates or 2012-2013 Season Tickets, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.