TOPEKA, KS – Points are hard to come by in the North American Hockey League especially when you are trying to catch a team in the playoff fight. The Amarillo Bulls found that out a difficult way on Friday night at Kansas Expo Center Landon Arena.
A 2-0 second period lead slipped away and the Bulls dropped a 3-2 decision in overtime to the Topeka RoadRunners. Despite the overtime loss, the Bulls did manage to shave the deficit between themselves and the Corpus Christi IceRays for the fourth and final playoff spot to 9 points. The IceRays were beaten 5-3 on home ice by the Odessa Jackalopes.
There was no scoring in the opening period but teams spent most of the time on special teams. After a bit of a slow start, the Bulls started gathering momentum and outshot the RoadRunners 12-8 in the first stanza.
It was all Amarillo in the second period as Rocky Russo’s charges came out firing and had Topeka on the run for most of it. Brendan Michaelian gave the Bulls a 1-0 lead midway through the second period when he wired a shot past goaltender Sam Metcalf. Cameron Bartkoski and Jared Domin earned assists on the play. Thirty-three seconds, later the Bulls made it 2-0 on a great play by Trey Bagwell as he finished off some great work from Nikita Sokolov and Marcus Chorney. The Bulls outshot Topeka 15-5.
The tables were turned in the third period as it was the RoadRunners that slowly gathered momentum and then rewarded for their hard work. Dallas Tulik scored on a sharp angle at the 9:23 mark of the period to cut the deficit to 2-1. In the final three minutes of regulation, Chad Hillebrand tipped home a shot from Max Finner and Lucas Herrmann to tie the game.
In overtime, the Bulls took a penalty for delay of game giving Topeka a 4-3 opportunity. Matt Barnes tipped home a shot at the side of the net from Dallas Tulik and Lucas Herrmann.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Topeka RoadRunners 32-20. One of the differences in the game was special teams as the Bulls were 0 for 4 and the RoadRunners were 1 for 7.
A four game road trip closes out for the Amarillo Bulls tomorrow (Saturday) at Kansas Expo Center Landon Arena against the Topeka RoadRunners. Tune into the action live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, and online at www.amarillobulls.com, beginning at 6:50 pm with the puck drop to follow at 7:15 pm.
The Amarillo Bulls return home on Friday, Mar. 9 and Saturday, Mar. 10 to face the Corpus Christi IceRays at 7 pm at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. Friday is family night with Family Four Pack for $44 (four tickets, four hotdogs and four sodas) and the Bring-A-Bud Pack for $22 (two tickets, two hotdogs and two sodas.) Saturday is Amarillo Youth Hockey Retro Night with the Bulls wearing special retro jerseys. A live auction follows immediately after the game with proceeds to benefit Amarillo Youth Hockey.
Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket locations including United Supermarkets or by calling 806-242-1122.