FRISCO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls missed out their first chance to close out their South Division Semi-Final Series with the Texas Tornado on Friday night. The visiting Bulls surrendered six unanswered goals that erased a 3-0 lead and dropped a 6-4 decision at Dr. Pepper Arena. The Bulls still lead the Best-Of-Five Series 2-1 with game four set for Frisco on Saturday at 7:30 pm.
It was a game of strong momentum shifts that was controlled in the first seven minutes by Texas, but then the Bulls took control for the next 17 minutes.
Two power play goals had the Bulls in a 2-0 advantage when the opening stanza closed. Dan McDougall scored on a screen shot from Brandon Lubin and Dan Sherer at 12:58. Joe Kozlak notched the second goal from Carl Beckman and Michael Erickson at 15:21.
In the second period, the Bulls extended their advantage to 3-0 when Zack Smoot tipped home a shot from Derek Hills at 3:24. However, after that it was all Tornado as they tallied four straight times, including once on the man advantage to lead 4-3 after 40 minutes. Texas would add to more to extend the lead to 6-3 early in the third period. Goaltender Nikifor Szczerba was replaced by Gregg Gruehl after the sixth goal.
The Bulls were not done yet as Brooks Behling stole the puck from the defenseman on a bad Tornado turnover and put it in the back of the net to close the deficit to 6-4. The Bulls pulled their goaltender in the final 90 seconds, but failed cut further into the Texas lead.
Amarillo out shot Texas 37-36, and each team was 2 for 4 on the power play.
Fans can tune into Game 4 of the Best-Of-Five series on Saturday at 7:15 pm, beginning with Prelude To The Playoffs Presented By Wayland Baptist University. Denis J. Puska has the call on ESPN1440 and www.amarillobulls.com fueled by Sportsjuice. The game is also available on Pay Per View courtesy of Fast Hockey, and a high speed internet connection is required in order to view the game.
If a fifth and deciding game of the Best-Of-Five series is needed it would be played back in Amarillo on Monday, April 11th at 7 pm at The Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.