AMARILLO, TX – John Rey’s goal late in the second period held up as the game winner, and Mike Taffe turned aside 35 shots to lift the Amarillo Bulls past the Wichita Falls Wildcats 3-2 on Saturday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
It was the Bulls eighth win of the season and it kept them alone in first place in the South Division. The Bulls also notched their first series sweep of the season.
The game was tied 2-2 late in the second period when John Rey swooped in to grab a loose puck in the high slot area and fired it up high on goaltender Tyler Green to give the Bulls the lead.
The third period featured plenty of high drama including a controversial seven minute power play for the Wichita Falls Wildcats that the Bulls successfully killed off.
Down the stretch, Amarillo played a strong defense and didn’t let the Wildcats get any type of offense going. The story also in the game was the hard work of goalie Mike Taffe who played a solid game making some big saves to keep his team in front.
It was another fast goal to start the game for the Amarillo Bulls. This time it was Alex Carey who found the puck in the goal crease and tapped it home to make it 1-0, at the 20 second mark. The Wildcats had thought the play was going to be called for icing, but the referees waived it off causing the miss-communication and the Bulls goal.
However, the Wildcats got going and four minutes later and tied the game up on a wrist shot from inside the face-off circle. The Bulls outshot the Wildcats 12-11.
In the second period, the Bulls took a 2-1 advantage when John Gustafsson tallied a shorthanded marker at 3:49. The Bulls were killing off a four-minute minor penalty and the Wildcats had a tough time moving the puck out of their zone thanks to the hard work of Brooks Behling .Gustafsson stole the puck and quickly put it into the back of the net.
After the Wildcats battled back to tie the game 2-2, the Bulls re-took the lead late in the stanza on John Rey’s big goal.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Wichita Falls Wildcats 42-38. There were a total of nine power plays in the game with neither team scoring a goal.
It’s back on the road for the Amarillo Bulls next weekend as they travel to Wichita Falls to face the Wildcats on Friday, Oct. 21 at 7 pm. On the following night, for the first time in over a year the Amarillo-Odessa rivalry is renewed as the Bulls visit the Jackalopes at 7 pm at Ector County Coliseum. Fans can hear both games live on ESPN1440 beginning at 6:45 pm on both nights.