TOPEKA, KS – A big first period powered the Amarillo Bulls to their 20th win of the season on Friday night.
The Bulls fired four goals in the first 20 and went on to beat the Topeka RoadRunners 4-1 at Kansas Expo Center Landon Arena. The victory was the Bulls 7th in a row away from home and they were able to maintain their eight point lead in the South Division standings.
Tyler Gernhofer, Brett Szajner, Roman Ammirato and Brady Ferguson tallied for Amarillo, while Mike Davis collected three helpers.
After building the big first period lead the goaltending of Collin Delia, defense and strong penalty killing took over and didn’t allow Topeka to get any closer.
What a start to the game for the Amarillo Bulls with four goals on nine shots. Two of the goals were netted in the first five minutes, while another two in the final three minutes of the stanza. Tyler Gernhofer gave the Bulls the lead just 55 seconds in from Brett Szajner and Mike Davis.
Nearly four minutes later, the Bulls made it 2-0 on a power play goal from Brett Szajner, his first of the season, from Mike Davis and Joe Grabowski. It was Davis who spotted Szajner open with a great pass.
Topeka broke the shutout string against the Bulls with a power play goal near the 15 minute mark. It was the RoadRunners’ first goal against Amarillo in more than 135 minutes of hockey. Topeka also beat Collin Delia for the first time in the season series, after being shutout two previous times.
But the Bulls again regained the momentum with two more goals just over two minutes apart. Roman Ammirato scored an unassisted goal after he stole the puck from the Topeka defenseman at the blue line. Brady Ferguson made it 4-1 when he cruised in over the blueline and beat the goaltender between the legs. Tyler Gernhofer and Mike Davis grabbed assists on the play. The Bulls were outshot 10-9 in the first period.
Special teams were the story in the final 40 minutes with Topeka failing to score on its second of what would be three five on three power plays. At the other end, the Bulls had a couple of power play opportunities but couldn’t get it past goaltender PJ Bridges who took over from Drew Vogler. There were a total of 12 shots in the second period with Topeka having the advantage at 7-5.
The RoadRunners came out firing in the third period, but goaltender Delia responded with key saves to preserve the three goal lead. A third 5-on-3 in the game didn’t produce any offense for the home side. The Bulls penalty killing kept Topeka in check limiting much of their play to the outside.
The Amarillo Bulls were outshot by the Topeka RoadRunners 31-23 including 14-9 in the third period. There were 14 total power plays in the game with the Bulls going 1 for 5 and Topeka was 1 for 9.
This two games series between the Bulls and RoadRunners closes out tomorrow (Saturday) night at 7:15 pm at Kansas Expo Center Landon Arena. Fans can listen to the action live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV courtesy of Fast Hockey beginning with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 6:55 pm.
The Amarillo Bulls return home for Sonic Sunday, Dec. 8 at 6 pm when they host the Odessa Jackalopes at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. Details on how the free tickets will be distributed will be announced Monday at 6 pm during the Amarillo Bulls Radio Show.
For further information on your Amarillo Bulls including seven-game flex packs, group tickets or single game tickets, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122 or visit 301 South Polk in the Amarillo Building.