AMARILLO, TX — Brooks Behling fired two goals and added two helpers to power the Amarillo Bulls to a 7-1 romp over the Topeka Road Runners on Sunday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
The victory gave the Bulls their third straight weekend sweep and their seventh win in a row. Amarillo leads the South Division by three points over Texas. The Bulls have the best winning percentage in the North American Hockey League and tied for first with the best overall record.
“I don’t think that anybody ever expects to dominate a team the way that we did tonight,” said Bulls Assistant Coach Rocky Russo. “Not only did we send a message to them (Topeka RoadRunners), but we sent a message to the entire league that we are for real this year.”
The difference in the game was the first period where the Bulls came out strong and attacked the RoadRunners, connecting on two goals and launching 19 shots on goal. When the Bulls needed timely saves in the game they got it from Greg Gruehl who stopped 26 of 27 shots he faced.
In the first period, Omar Mullan started the scoring when he put a backhand shot past goaltender Brandon Reagan at the 12:32 mark. Twenty two seconds later, the Bulls struck again, this time, Michael Davis converted a pass from Greg Gibson and Brooks Behling. However, the Bulls were not done as Behling intercepted a Topeka pass and scored shorthanded at the 17:03 mark.
The second period was another strong one for the Bulls. TJ Sarcona made it 4-0 when he scored on the power play at the 10:19 mark from John Rey. Just over 3 minutes later, Matt Johnson rushed up the ice and put the puck up high on Reagan and it was 5-0.
Bulls Head Coach Dennis Williams said it’s great to see TJ Sarcona back in the Bulls’ line-up.
“He really compliments Joe Kozlak and John Gustafsson and brings another threat to our power play,” Williams said. “It’s good to have him back and it looks like his finger is doing okay. He is playing well and with confidence right now. We are really lucky to have him back and only missing a few games.”
In the third period, Luke Jenkins gave the Bulls a 6-0 lead when he made a great move in the offensive zone and put the puck past Josh Hillegas who took over from goaltender Reagan.
Brooks Behling scored with his second of the game nearly midway through the stanza. Matt Johnson and Geoff Fortman earned assists on the goal. Topeka broke Gruehl’s shutout bid with just under eight minutes to play.
The Bulls outshot Topeka 44-27, including 15-12 in the third period. There were just five total power plays in the game with the Bulls going 1 for 2.