TOPEKA, KS – Dan Sherer fired the game winning goal 5:41 into the third period to lift the Amarillo Bulls past the Topeka RoadRunners 4-3 on Wednesday night at the Robertson Cup NAHL National Championship Tournament in Topeka, Kansas. The victory pushed the Bulls record to 2-0 and qualified them for no worse than a National Semi-Final game on Friday night.
The Bulls have one round-robin game left against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs on Thursday afternoon and should they win that then Amarillo would get an automatic bye to the National Final. The RoadRunners fell to 0-2 and must beat the Michigan Warriors tomorrow night or their season will come to an end.
It was the third straight win for the Bulls over the RoadRunners, including games 4 and 5 of the South Division final.
It was a tough start to the game for the Bulls as Topeka came out strong and thew everything they had at Nikifor Szczerba but managed to score just once on the power play. The Bulls tied it late in the stanza when Dan McDougall’s point shot was deflected in by Joe Kozlak. Derek Hills earned an assist on the goal.
The Bulls came out strong in the second period and were rewarded for their hard work when Karl Beckman scored off the faceoff from Michael Erickson. Beckman then tallied his second of the game when his shot from the point went into the net off a Topeka stick.
The RoadRunners battled back and scored late in the second to make it a one goal game and then tied it up early in the third period. That set up the Sherer goal from Zack Smoot and Luke Jenkins. Down the stretch Topeka pressed but the Bulls defensive coverage was strong and limited the number of scoring chances.
Nikifor Szczerba turned aside 26 of 29 shots he faced. The Bulls managed just 17 shots on net including eight in the middle stanza.
There were a total of seven power plays in the game with Topeka going 2 for 4.
The Amarillo Bulls will meet the Fairbanks Ice Dogs on Thursday afternoon at 4:05 pm at Kansas Expo Center at Landon Arena. Fans can tune into the action live on ESPN1440 and www.amarillobulls.com fueled by Sportsjuice beginning with Prelude To The Playoffs at the Robertson Cup Presented By Wayland Baptist University at 3:45 pm. Denis J. Puska has the play-by-play action at 4:05 pm. The game is also available on Fast Hockey and a high speed internet connection is required in order to view the game.