RIO RANCHO, NMX – The Amarillo Bulls conclude a memorable 2011-2012 North American Hockey League regular season tonight (Saturda) when they face the New Mexico Mustangs at 7:30 pm central, 8:30 pm mountain at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.
A 46th win of the season and 24th on the road tonight are all on the line for the Bulls tonight including an opportunity to get to 99 points, which would be the most by an NAHL team based on a 60-game schedule.
The Bulls scored five goals in the first period and dumped the New Mexico Mustangs 6-1 on Thursday night. Six different goal scorers paced the Bulls behind the goaltending of Gregg Gruehl.
It is interesting to note that in 35 of the teams 59 games thus far, Amarillo has scored the game’s first goal. That has lead to 32 victories. In just 14 games this year, the Bulls have trailed entering the third period, and have managed a .500 mark of 6-6-2.
The Bulls are 7-2 during the month of March with Michael Erickson leading the way with 11 points (six goals and five assists), followed by John Gustafsson with 10 points. The goaltending tandem of Gregg Gruehl and Mike Taffe have a combined goals against average of 1.67 in nine games. In the month the Bulls have outscored their opponents 39-15.
Fans can tune into the game live on ESPN1440 and www.amarillobulls.com beginning with pre-game show coverage presented by Wayland Baptist University at 8:15 pm central, 7:15 pm mountain. Denis J. Puska has the exciting action to follow. 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 it.
SOUTH DIVISION PLAYOFF UPDATE:The Amarillo Bulls will have a date with the Odessa Jackalopes regardless of what happens in the final two games of the NAHL regular season in the first round of the NAHL Playoffs. The Jackalopes moved two points ahead of the Corpus Christi IceRays with 3-1 win over the Wichita Falls Wildcats on Friday night. The IceRays suffered a 3-1 loss to the Texas Tornado. Odessa will still get the fourth and final playoff spot in the South even if they lose their final two games and Corpus Christi wins tonight. The two teams would be tied with the same amount of points, but the Jackalopes have the tie-breaker with a better head-to-head series mark.
The Amarillo Bulls will host the first two games of the NAHL South Division Semi-Finals on Friday, Apr. 6 and Saturday, Apr. 7 at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center at 7 pm. Prior to Friday’s game, there will be a Tailgate Party with music, refreshments and food. At the game on Friday, the first 1,000 fans will receive Bulls’ playoff rally towels.