AMARILLO, TX – The one that got away…
That could be said about the Amarillo Bulls 3-2 shootout loss at the hands of their rivals the Topeka RoadRunners on Friday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
The Bulls surrendered the equalizer with 50 seconds remaining in regulation time in the third period and then Topeka fired the lone goal in the shootout to secure the victory. Amarillo had played a tight defensive hockey for most of the night, had control of the contest for the final 27 minutes, but a break down off a face-off allowed Topeka to sneak one through Paul Berrafato to pull even.
The Bulls and the RoadRunners will close out the two game set tomorrow (Saturday) night at 7 pm before playing one another again next weekend in Kansas.
“It was a disappointing ending to what obviously should have been a good night,” said Bulls Head Coach Dennis Williams after the game. “We played good hockey for 59:30 and then had that break down and it’s something we have to learn from.”
Williams said that the team’s five-on-five play and penalty killing was very solid, but need to improve their shootouts.
“It something we need to work on,” he added. “We seem to laugh and joke around about in it practice and don’t put enough seriousness into it. This has cost us now two points this year — one at the show case and another here tonight. It should have never gotten to a shootout and been decided in regulation.”
The Amarillo Bulls drew first blood in the game when TJ Sarcona converted a pass from Gage Christianson at the 3:38 mark. Topeka tied it up late in the opening stanza off a face-off win. The Bulls outshot Topeka 11-8 in the first period.
There was no scoring in the second period, but the intensity of the rivalry began to pick up. The Bulls had a five minute power play but failed to score despite having some good scoring opportunities. Amarillo outshot Topeka 15-12 and 26-20 overall.
In the third period, the Bulls took the lead when Omar Mullan riffled a shot between the legs of Spencer Viele. Hampus Gustafsson and Geoff Fortman earned assists on the marker at the 5:15 mark. After that the Bulls had firm control of the game and played a tight defensive style of play until the RoadRunners tied the game in the final minute.
Both teams failed to score in overtime and Topeka forward James Ring was the only player to score in the shootout.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Topeka RoadRunners 36-24. There were seven total power plays, with Topeka going 0 for 4 and Amarillo was 0 for 3.
Saturday’s game is a big night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. It’s United Way night and fans are encouraged to bring a group out and helps support a great organization. The Bulls will wear their specialty jerseys and a live auction follows immediately after the game.
Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk in the Amarillo Building, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets including United Supermarkets. For further information on Birthday Party Packages, Group Rates or Seven-Game Flex Packs please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.