AMARILLO, TX – It was another highly explosive offensive game at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Saturday as the Topeka RoadRunners closed out a two game series against the Amarillo Bulls.
The two teams combined for 21 goals in the two games, including nine alone on Saturday but in the end the Bulls came out on the short end a dropped a 5-4 decision to the visitors. The difference in the game was an early third period goal by Peyton Frantti of the RoadRunners and the Bulls inability to respond with a two power play chances in the final five minutes of regulation. Brendan Michaelian, Jonathan Dagnal, Brendan Walkom and George Mika tallied for Amarillo, while Phil Fromberger chipped in three assists. Other marksmen for Topeka were Brayden Schiff, Jack DeMatteo, Matt Barnes, and Max Harper. Defenseman Devon Fields had three assists. Mike Rockwell bested Nikita Babintsev in goal.
With the loss and the results elsewhere, the Bulls dropped to last place in the South Division but just two points back of the fourth and final playoff spot which is being held by the RoadRunners and the Corpus Christi IceRays. The Bulls and the RoadRunners meet in two more key games next Friday and Saturday at Kansas Expo Center Landon Arena.
The game started well for the Bulls as they raced out to a 2-0 lead before the game was 8:50- seconds old. Brendan Michaelian scored on a shot from the blueline from Phil Fromberger and George Mika. That goal sent down the Teddy Bears and the Stuffed Animals to the ice that the fans had brought to the game for the 7th annual Toys-For-Tots Event. Jonathan Dagnal netted the Bulls second goal when he fired a shot into the net from Kosta Likourezos and Fromberger. It was the defenseman Fromberger that started the play by rushing the puck deep into the RoadRunners zone.
After that Topeka went to work and tied the game with two goals in a span of four minutes. Brayden Schiff scored his first NAHL goal and Jack DeMatteo with the other. However, the Bulls responded again as George Mika launched a shot towards the Topeka goal that was deflected in by Brendan Walkom. Charlie Singerhouse also helped out on the tally. The Bulls had the momentum early on and led in the shots on goal department 18-12.
However the second period saw the Topeka RoadRunners capitalizing on the defensive zone miscues and taking the lead. Matt Barnes scored just 18 second into the stanza and then Max Harper at the 13:58 mark. The Bulls best chance of the period came late in the stanza when Jake Nitche sent a pass over to Jeff Solow who’s one timer in the dying seconds was turned away by the pad of Mike Rockwell. The Bulls outshot the RoadRunners 14-8 with most of them coming from long distance.
Topeka grabbed a two-goal lead to start the third period on a goal by Peyton Frantti on the power play from John DeRoche and Jeff Makowski. The Bulls were not done yet and trimmed the deficit back to a single when Steven Ipri scored on a nice play from Eric Cooley and Phil Fromberger. The home side did their in the dying minutes to tie the game and force overtime but were unable to. Jeff Solow had the puck on his stick with time ticking down but his shot just missed the far post.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Topeka RoadRunners 43-27. Each team had three power plays and scored once apiece.
The South Division rivalry between Amarillo and Topeka heats up next Friday and Saturday at Kansas Expo Center Landon Arena at 7:05 pm. Fans can tune into the action live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, online at www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV with Hockey TV beginning with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show 20 minutes before the puck is dropped.
The next home action for the Amarillo Bulls is set for New Year’s Eve, Saturday, Dec. 31, at 7 pm when the Odessa Jackalopes will be at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. Ticket specials for that game will be available in the coming weeks. For further information please call 806-242-1122 or visit www.amarillobulls.com.