AMARILLO, TX – A near valiant and complete comeback came to an end on Monday night.
For the first time in four years the Amarillo Bulls saw their season draw short of an appearance in the Robertson Cup National Semi-Finals after a 6-2 loss to the Topeka RoadRunners before a crowd of more than 3,700 at the Budweiser Bull Pen in Amarillo Civic Center. The RoadRunners win the best of five series 3-2 and will face the Central Division Champion Austin Bruins in the National Semi-Finals this weekend in Kansas. The Fairbanks Ice Dogs will host the Michigan Warriors in the other National Semi-Final in Alaska.
The difference in the game was a stretch of five minutes between the end of the first period and the first three minutes of the second where Topeka erased a 1-0 deficit and scores three times. The RoadRunners added to their lead with another goal near the midway mark and that would be all they would need. Goaltender PJ Bridges stopped 27 of 29 shots he faced.
Mike Davis and Brendan Vetter had both of the Bulls goals that were scored in the first and third periods.
It was a fast start by both teams to begin Game 5. The RoadRunners had a couple of chances in the first few minutes and so did the Bulls at the other end. The Bulls opened the scoring on the power play when Mike Davis got his first of the series with a great shot that beat PJ Bridges from Roman Ammirato and Ben Jentsch at 12:28. Four minutes later, the RoadRunners were able to get the Bulls penned inside their own end and capitalized by scoring two goals 2:28 apart. Topeka outshot Amarillo 17-9.
The RoadRunners continued on the momentum early in the second with two goals in the first 10 minutes. The first was off a turnover at the blueline and the second was off a deflection from the point. That first goal chased starter Collin Delia who was replaced by Paul Berrafato.
The Bulls had their opportunities in the second and the best chance was for Mitchell McPherson as his wraparound was stopped by PJ Bridges. The Bulls had a goal called back when the officials said the puck never went in. Topeka outshot Amarillo 14-12 in the second period.
The third period featured three goals in a four minute span. After Topeka jumped out to a 5-1, the Bulls finally got back on the board. Brendan Vetter’s shot found the back of the net from Roman Ammirato and Mike Davis at the 16:07 mark. The RoadRunners rounded out the scoring with a goal into the empty net.
The Topeka RoadRunners outshot the Amarillo Bulls 46-29 including 15-8 in the third period. There were nine total power plays in the contest with the Bulls going 1 for 4 and Topeka was 0 for 5.
Fans are encouraged purchase or renew their 2014-15 5th anniversary Season Tickets and save over $100 over Red and Silver prices when they purchase that same ticket on Game Day. That purchase or renewal will also get fans entered into the 30 Days of Hockey that includes great prizes and draws made Monday to Friday at 5 pm. For further information on Season Tickets, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.