TOPEKA, KS – The Amarillo Bulls got off on the right foot at the Robertson Cup North American Hockey League Championship Tournament on Tuesday afternoon in Topeka, KS.
Two goals in the second period snapped a 1-1 tie and propelled the Bulls past the Michigan Warriors 5-2 to draw first blood in the tournament. The Bulls will play their second game tomorrow (Wednesday) night against the Topeka RoadRunners at 7:35 pm
The match-up that everyone was talking about in the contest was in goal between Nikifor Szczerba of the Bulls and Robert Tadazak of the Warriors. It was Szczerba who put on a show stopping 24 of 26 shots he faced. Tadazak appeared shaky at times and the Bulls capitalized on him early and often.
Amarillo notched the game’s first goal when Dan Sherer scored on a rebound from Zack Smoot and Matt Johnson at 2:33. The Warriors would tie the game up on the partial breakaway near the midway mark of the stanza.
However, the second period was all Bulls as they scored twice. First it was Matt Johnson, who kept his feet moving a got a great shot away to beat Tadazak at the 41 second mark. The Bulls extended the advantage to 3-1 when Derek Hills scored on the power play from Karl Beckman at the 13:00 mark.
In the third period, the Bulls scored a key insurance marker when Michael Erickson put one in from Eric Millisor and Brooks Behling at 7:15 pm. After Michigan scored to cut the deficit to 4-2, Luke Jenkins scored a shot handed goal into an empty net to round out the scoring.
The Bulls outshot the Warriors 34-26. There were a total of 8 power plays in the contest with the Bulls going 1 for 5.
The Amarillo Bulls take on the Topeka RoadRunners tomorrow (Wednesday) night at 7:35 pm in their second game. Fans can tune into the game live on ESPN1440 and www.amarillobulls.com, beginning with Prelude To The Playoffs at the Robertson Cup at 7:15 pm. Denis J. Puska brings you the action at 7:30 pm.