AMARILLO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls returned to the win column on Saturday night thanks to the goaltending of Nikifor Szczerba and a solid team effort.
Three goals in the first 40 minutes of play lifted the Bulls to a 3-0 victory over the Wichita Falls Wildcats at The Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. It was the Bulls 23rd victory of the season and 13th on home ice.
Szczerba was in fine form kicking out all 33 shots he faced including two huge waves by the Wildcats in the second and the third periods.
It was an exciting opening 20 minutes of hockey for the Bulls as their power play had a lot of buzz in front of the Wichita Falls net and scored once. It was Derek Hills with his fifth of the season, jamming home a loose rebound in front of the net, from former Wildcat forward Sean Keane at 9:16.
The second period continues to be an improving part of the Bulls game this season and the homeside struck for a pair of goals. First it was Joe Kozlak left uncovered in front of the net from Matt Johnson at 5:36 on the power play. The Bulls made it 3-0 when Michael Erickson wired a shot under the bar in the final minute of the period. Matt Johnson got his second assist of the game.
The Wildcats came on the middle stanza had had a flurry of scoring chances but couldn’t beat goaltender Nikifor Szczerba.
The third period was exciting and wide open, but nobody could score.
The Bulls netted two power play goals on six opportunities, while the Wildcats had just one power play attempt the entire night. Amarillo outshot Wichita Falls 42-33. The two teams combined for 34 shots alone in the second period.
Hockey fans will be in for a treat on Sunday when the Bulls host the Corpus Christi IceRays at 6 pm as they will get to enjoy the excitement of what the North American Hockey League has to offer. Sonic Sunday has been an overwhelming success as this game is a sellout with all tickets being scooped up by local residents.