TOPEKA, KS – The Amarillo Bulls posted one of their biggest character wins of the season here on Wednesday night.
Zack Smoot fired two goals and Nikifor Szczerba was solid in net as the Bulls topped the Topeka RoadRunners 3-2 to claim second place and home-ice in the North American Hockey League’s South Division playoffs.
The Bulls outworked and out hustled the RoadRunners all game long. Three goals in the first 30 minutes of the game by the Bulls proved to be the difference in the contest.
It was a quick start for the Amarillo Bulls as they came out and played with a determined effort. Zack Smoot gave the Bulls a quick 1-0 advantage when he scored on a 5-on-3 power play from Derek Hills. Less than two minutes later, the Bulls made it 2-0 when TJ Sarcona capitalized on a turnover inside Topeka’s zone and roofed it by Rasmus Tirronen. There were a total of just 10 first period shots with Topeka having the advantage 6-4.
The Bulls added to their lead in the second period when Zack Smoot notched his second of the game. The play started when Derek Hills kept the puck in at the line and Matt Johnson got it over to Smoot who found the back of the net.
Topeka got on the board with a goal in the final minute of the period to reduce the Bulls lead to 3-1.
It was an exciting third period with both teams having some terrific chances to score. Topeka pulled its goaltender in the final minute and scored to make it 3-2 but couldn’t get any closer.
The Amarillo Bulls play their last road game of the regular season tomorrow (Thursday) night when they take on the Topeka RoadRunners at 7 pm. Fans can tune into the action live on ESPN1440 and www.amarillobulls.com fueled by Sportsjuice beginning with The Bulls Warm Up Show Presented By Wayland Baptist University at 6:45 pm. Denis J. Puska has the action at 7 pm. The game is also available on Pay Per View courtesy of Fast Hockey and a high speed internet connection is required in order to view the game.