AMARILLO, TX – Sonic Sunday was another hit on and off the ice for the Amarillo Bulls.
Joe Kozlak fired a hattrick to power the Amarillo Bulls past the Odessa Jackalopes 7-2 on Sunday night in front of a sold out Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
The second annual event gave fans in the Texas Panhandle a chance to watch a hockey game for free courtesy of Sonic. The fans were not disappointed in the contest as they saw plenty of offense by their hometown Bulls along with several fights including one amongst the goaltenders Mike Taffe for Amarillo and Justin Davis for Odessa.
“The fan support was unbelievable,” said Bulls forward Ryan Taylor. “It’s always amazing to play in front of that many people. We played amazing from top to bottom.”
The victory by the Bulls was their third in as many games. Dennis Williams’ charges outscored their opponents 17-5 in the three games while firing over 100 shots on net.
“To get six points in three nights and to do it in a fashion in a game three that we did was great,” said Bulls Head Coach Dennis Williams. “We were very fortunate to take four guys out of the line-up and put four in and not skip a beat. I have full confidence in the guys and they believe in each other.”
It was a terrific start to the game for the Amarillo Bulls which fired 21 first-period shots and scored twice. The offense was ignited by Joe Kozlak who notched both markers. His first goal was a deflection on the power play from John Rey and Matt Johnson. His second occurred when he stole the puck off an Odessa turnover and quickly fired it into the back of the net.
Odessa scored off a deflection in the final four minutes to round out the scoring.
In the second period, the Bulls continued their torrid play and scored twice more. Joe Kozlak completed his hattrick when he deflected home a TJ Sarcona shot just 20 second into the stanza on the power play. Michael Erickson and Brandon Lubin earned assists on the goal. About three minutes later Omar Mullen found the back of the net on an unassisted marker. Amarillo outshot Odessa 19-5 in the second.
The scoring continued in third period from Clint Carlisle who shot eluded goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, and it was 5-1. Matt Johnson added an assist on the goal. Just three minutes, later TJ Sarcona added a sixth goal from Clint Carlisle and Carl Beckman. After Odessa scored to make it 6-2, the Bulls rounded out the scoring when Greg Gibson scored on a great shot from Brooks Behling at 18:10.
Mike Taffe posted the win in goal and was replaced early in the third period by Gregg Gruehl after his altercation with goaltender Justin Davis.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Odessa Jackalopes 54-19. There were 10 power plays in the contest with the Bulls going 2 for 4.
A four game home stand closes out for the Amarillo Bulls this coming weekend with a pair of games against the New Mexico Mustangs on Friday and Saturday at 7 pm. Friday is College Night and students can receive $5 tickets when they show a valid Student ID at the door.
Tickets are available at the Bulls Hockey Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets including United Supermarkets. For further information on Group Rates, Flex Packs or Corporate Marketing Partnerships, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.