WICHITA FALLS, TX – Jude Warner scored twice and Mike Taffe turned aside 23 shots as the Amarillo Bulls dumped the Wichita Falls Wildcats 6-2 on Friday night at Kay Yeager Coliseum.
It was the Bulls ninth win of the season, and it kept them in first place in the South Division. Friday’s game began a short two game road trip that concludes Saturday night in Odessa.
The game was tight for the first 25 minutes with the Bulls maintaining a 2-1 advantage, but a timely penalty kill and then a goal by Michael Davis increased the visitor’s lead to 3-1 that they wouldn’t relinquish.
The Amarillo Bulls marched out to a 2-0 first-period lead before the game was four minutes old. Jude Warner scored on a rebound from Tyler Deresky, and then 1:46 later Michael Erickson found the back of the net. John Gustafsson and Brooks Behling earned assists on the goal.
Wichita Falls Head Coach Paul Baxter called a timeout after the second goal, and that seemed to settle down his troops. The Wildcats applied some pressure later in the period, but Mike Taffe turned away all of the shots. The Bulls had a five minute power play late in the opening stanza but couldn’t score.
An early second period goal reduced Amarillo’s lead to 2-1. After some great work on special teams, the Bulls got back on the offensive attack. It was started by Michael Davis who converted a great play from Omar Mullan and goaltender Mike Taffe at 6:45. Tyler Deresky made it 4-1 on a terrific rush up the ice at 15:21. That goal chased goaltender Tyler Green who was replaced by Ryan Kellenberger.
Jude Warner added his second of the game in the third period to increase Amarillo’s lead to 5-1 from Tyler Deresky and Ryan Taylor. The Wildcats tallied a second goal before Matt Johnson rounded out the scoring on a pass from John Rey.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Wichita Falls Wildcats 30-25. There were a total of four power play opportunities with neither team scoring a goal.
It should be an exciting game on Saturday night when the Bulls face the Odessa Jackalopes for the first time this season. Game time at Ector County Coliseum is set for 7 pm. Fans can tune into the game live on ESPN1440 and www.amarillobulls.com fueled by Ustream, beginning with the Bulls Warm Up Show Presented By Wayland Baptist University at 6:45 pm. Denis J. Puska has the hard hitting action to follow.