TOPEKA, KS — The Amarillo Bulls connected for six goals over the final 40 minutes and Jason Grande won his 11th of the year en route to a 7-0 triumph over the Topeka Pilots on Friday night at Kansas Expo Center Landon Arena.
That goal explosion was the largest victory by Amarillo at Landon Arena in nine years visiting the Topeka hockey programs. It also extended the Bulls unbeaten string to 14 games, and first place lead to 10 points.
The Bulls offense started slowly in the game with just one goal in the first period as Gabriel Seger riffled a shot past Emile Gransoe with help from Logan Jenuwine and Alex Peterson. The difference during the opening stanza was the Bulls penalty killing that was called upon early to keep the Pilots from getting on the board. The shots on goal margin favored the Bulls by a 12-8 margin.
The flood gates opened up in the middle stanza as the Bulls had their skating legs going, and took command of the contest. The three goals were scored in a span of 4:17, with two of them coming just 79 seconds apart. Jason Brancheau scored from Nick Anderson and Cooper Fensterstock, and then Brendan West deflected home a shot from Brenden Datema. Christian Thomas also had a helper on the play. Logan Jenuwine rounded out the scoring in the period with an unassisted tally.
Things continued to go the Bulls way in the final 20 minutes with three more pucks finding the back of the net. Jenuwine completed his hattrick with back-to-back goals in a six minute span. Assisting on those markers were Alex Peterson, Gagik Malakyan, Brett Abdelnour and Cooper Fensterstock. Trey Bagwell added the Bulls seventh and final goal via the power play with a great shot from Gabriel Seger and Nick Anderson.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Topeka Pilots 45-22. Jason Grande was solid in goal making key saves over the first 40 minutes to preserve the advantage for his team.
The second game of the weekend series between the Bulls and the Pilots takes place tomorrow (Saturday) night at 7 pm at Kansas Expo Center Landon Arena. Fans can tune into the action courtesy of Hockey TV.
Hockey returns to the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Sunday, Dec. 30 and Monday, Dec. 31 when the Amarillo Bulls entertain the Topeka Pilots. Sunday’s game is a special start time of 4 pm and features the Zooperstars, a family friend act that has performed on America’s Got Talent. Monday’s game is the 8th annual New Year’s Eve game which has become a tradition in the Texas Panhandle. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket locations including United Supermarkets or online at www.amarillobulls.com/tickets and www.panhandletickets.com.