AMARILLO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls have gained firm control of the Best-Of-Five South Division Semi-Final series against the Texas Tornado on Friday night.
Three third-period goals in a five minute span erased a one-goal deficit and lifted the Bulls to a 5-3 win over the Tornado and a 2-0 lead in the series. The Bulls could close out the series with a win when the games shift to Frisco next weekend.
Texas jumped out to a 3-2 lead early in the third period and had the Bulls back peddling. However, a power play goal from Zack Smoot got the Bulls even and changed the momentum of the game.
Matt Johnson scored his second biggest goal of the series when he finished off a play from Brooks Behling and Derek Hills at 11:08. It gave Amarillo the lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Brooks Behling added an insurance goal from Michael Erickson less than a minute later to seal the win. The Bulls defensive play was the difference over the final 10 minutes, not allowing the Tornado any type of opportunity to rally late.
It was a tough start to the game for the Bulls as they fell behind 2-0. Texas scored twice in a five minute span, but the Bulls rallied with two goals from defenseman. First John Rey’s shot found the back of the net at the 13:35 mark and then Brandon Lubin on the power play at 15:01. Karl Beckman, Dan Sherer, Zack Smoot and Sean Keane earned assists on the goals.
The second period featured no scoring but terrific action and chances by both teams. The Bulls seem to have the momentum in the period over a six minute span, but couldn’t beat goaltender Jimmy Krueger.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Texas Tornado 33-30 including 22-15 over the first 40 minutes. There were a total of nine power plays with the Bulls having two power play goals on five opportunities. In the series to date, the Bulls have scored three power play goals, while Texas has netted just once.
The third game of the Best-Of-Five series between the Amarillo Bulls and the Texas Tornado takes place next Friday, Apr. 8 at 7:30 pm at the Dr. Pepper Arena. If a fourth game is necessary it would be played on the following night on Saturday, Apr. 9 also at 7:30 pm.
Fans can tune into the playoff action on ESPN1440 and www.amarillobulls.com beginning with the Prelude To The Playoffs Presented By Wayland Baptist University at 7:15 pm. Denis J. Puska has all of the action at 7:30 pm. The games are available on Pay-Per-View courtesy of Fast Hockey and a high speed internet connection is required in order to view the game.