RIO RANCHO, NMX – The Amarillo Bulls scored four of the first five goals of the game and went on to beat the New Mexico Mustangs 5-3 on Saturday night the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho New Mexico.
It was the Bulls 18thwin of the season and it avenged their 3-2 OT loss on Friday night. The Bulls skated extremely well during the game and a much better effort then the game 24 hours earlier. Amarillo trails the first place Texas Tornado by just three points in the South Division.
The Bulls held a 4-2 lead through 40 minutes of hockey and extended their advantage to 5-2 when Mitch Rogge scored on a shot from the high slot. The Mustangs rallied back to cut the deficit to 5-3 with a goal and kept putting pressure on the Bulls net. Goaltender Steve Bolton made some big saves to keep his team in front.
It was a better opening period by the Amarillo Bulls as they capitalized on their scoring chances early and often to take a 3-0 lead to the dressing room. Cody Freeman got the scoring going just 2:30 into the game. Mitch Rogge earned an assist on the marker. The Bulls power play then went to work in the final minute of the period when Travis Hill made his return to the line-up a productive one. Hill scored on a great wrist shot through a screen. Chris Cass earned an assist on the goal. It was 17 seconds later when the Bulls would score again and this time it was Derek Hills who shot found the back of the net from Terrance Johnson.
In the second period, the Bulls extended their lead to 4-0 when Cody Freeman notched his second of the game on a terrific second effort. Zack Smoot earned an assist on the goal with a great pass across to Freeman.
However, the Mustangs would score the next two goals to make it 4-2. The first one was at the 2:28 mark and the second one was just over 12:00 minutes into the period on the power play.
The Bulls penalty killing was working better in the second period, and killed off a 5 on 3 late in the stanza.
Hockey is back in the Bull Pen at the Amarillo Civic Center this Friday, Dec. 17 at 7 pm when they Bulls host the first place Texas Tornado. It is a busy night with lots of activities planned including the Bulls wearing their Christmas jerseys and an auction to follow immediately after the game. Proceeds from the auction will benefit Amarillo Youth Hockey. Fans are encouraged to bring a new or gently used Teddy Bear or Stuffed Animal to the game, and throw the toys onto the ice when the Bulls net their first goal. The toys will be collected and given to charity.
Tickets for Bulls hockey are available at all Panhandle Ticket Outlets, including United Supermarkets, Civic Center Box Office or online at www.amarillobulls.com. For further information on group rates, flex packs or corporate partnership opportunities, please call the Bulls office at 806-242-1122.