Bulls fall late to Topeka 3-2


AMARILLO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls surrendered a goal in the final 10 seconds of regulation time and dropped a 3-2 decision to the Topeka RoadRunners on Thursday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. It was the second and final exhibition game between the two teams with the Bulls taking the first one 5-4.

It was a feisty game that featured plenty of rough stuff after the whistle, and several five on three power plays.

The Bulls scored the game’s first goal in the opening period when TJ Sarcona put a loose rebound behind Josh Hillegas. Matt Johnson and Brandon Lubin earned assists on the goal.

It was the only marker until the third period when the RoadRunners would tie the game 1-1 on the power play. Alex Carey gave the Bulls a 2-1 advantage when he scored on a great shot from Luke Jenkins at 8:02. The RoadRunners tied the game four minutes later.

That set up an exciting final seven minutes with both teams working hard. A turnover near the Bulls’ blueline led the RoadRunners goal in the final seconds of regulation time. The two teams then participated in a shootout that Topeka won 3-0.

Eric Lipon took over in relief of starter Mike Taffe who was ejected in the second period for an incident. Topeka goaltender Josh Hillegas played extremely well and notched the win.

The Amarillo Bulls now head to the North American Hockey League Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota next week. The first game is set for Wednesday, Sept. 14 when the Bulls play the Alaska Avalanche at 10:15 am. Fans can listen to the game live on ESPN1440 and www.amarillobulls.com, beginning with pre-game show coverage at 10 am with Denis J. Puska.