BLAINE, MN — The Amarillo Bulls begin their quest for a second Robertson Cup in their short franchise history tomorrow (Friday) night when they take on the Central Division Champs Aberdeen Wings at 7:30 in the opening game of the Best-Of-Three National Semi Final Series at Fogarty Ice Arena.
It was practice day today for all four teams and media opportunities for the Head Coaches and select players. A banquet takes place later this evening with a speech from Air Force Academy Head Coach Frank Serratore and Commissioner Mark Frankenfeld.
This is the first trip to the National Championship for the Bulls since 2012-13 and also the first using this format of the Best-Of-Three Series. In the past, Amarillo participated in round-robin play with the top teams moving on to semi-finals and finals. However, the Bulls are no stranger to the Robertson Cup having been at the event in the franchise’s first three years (two semi-final appearances and one championship win.
“We are very excited and humbled to be here participating in the Robertson Cup National Tournament,” said Bulls Head Coach Rocky Russo. “The competition that the NAHL provides is second to none and making it to this point is a true accomplishment. We expect highly skilled, fast paced hockey and tremendous compete level from our opponents. We are confident as a team and a staff that we are prepared for our series against Aberdeen and are excited to get started.”
The Bulls are coming off an emotional 6-0 win over the Shreveport Mudbugs to capture the South Division Championship on home ice on Sunday night. The Aberdeen Wings needed four games to defeat the Minot Minotauros in the Central Division final last Saturday night,
Gabriel Seger, Alex Peterson and Jason Brancheau have been an offensive force for the Bulls. Seger has six goals and nine assists for 15 points, while Peterson and Brancheau each have 12 points, respectively. The Bulls depth has been a big part of their success with every player on the roster having at least one point. In goal, Jason Grande has posted four victories in the post season, while Justin Evenson has a shutout in his last game and yielded just one goal in his last 120 minutes of play.
Forwards Jonathan Bendorf (formerly of Wichita Falls), and Adam Pitters lead the Wings offense with 10 points each. Bendorf has scored seven times. Goaltender Matt Vernon has played in every game for Aberdeen with a goals against average of just over two per game.
Tune into the action of Game 1 of the National Semi-Final Series beginning with Prelude To The Robertson Cup at 7 pm on 107.1 Nash Icon, www.amarillobulls.com/listen and on PPV with Hockey TV. Denis J. Puska has the hard hitting action at 7:30 pm