THE MATCH-UP:Amarillo Bulls @ Texas Tornado
GAME DATES AND TIMES: Friday, Saturday 7:30 pm
LOCATION:Dr. Pepper Arena, Frisco TX
BROADCAST:Tonight’s and Saturday’s games can be heard live on CBS Sports Radio 1440 and www.amarillobulls.com, beginning with The Bulls Warm Up Show at 7:15 pm with Denis J. Puska. The puck drop follows at 7:30 pm. The games are also available on PPV courtesy of Fast Hockey, and a high speed internet connection is required in order to view the games.
THE SERIES: This is the fifth meeting of the season between the Amarillo Bulls and the Texas Tornado. The two teams will meet again in the first weekend of February back at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. The Bulls captured the first four games, limiting the Tornado to just two goals in three of the four contests, while posting a shutout in the other. Forwards TJ Sarcona and Mike Davis have a combined 13 points (2 goals and 11 assists) and five different players each have two goals. It is interesting to note that four of the six Texas Tornado goals have come via the power play.
SOUTH DIVISION UPDATE:The Amarillo Bulls and the Texas Tornado are separated by six points in the South Division. The Bulls used a game in hand to increase their lead with a 5-3 win on New Years’ Eve versus the pesky Wichita Falls Wildcats. The Tornado was in action last weekend when they swept the Corpus Christi IceRays on home ice. The third-place Topeka RoadRunners are in Wichita Falls to face the Wildcats at Kay Yeager Coliseum. The RoadRunners trail the Bulls by 10 points.
STREAKS AND TRENDS:Forwards Mike Davis and Ryan Cole have been playing quite well for the Amarillo Bulls in recent games. Cole has 10 points in his last seven games while Davis has seven points in his last six. The Bulls, which have won eight in a row, have only two regulation losses since November 3rd, a mark of 16-2-2. Texas is 7-1 in their last eight games and has two wins in a row since an afternoon loss to the Odessa Jackalopes.
STATS AND NOTES: These two teams have similar numbers in the first 40 minutes of games. The Bulls have netted 37 goals, while Texas has 36 goals in the first period, while they are separated by just three goals (52-49 Tornado favor) in the middle stanza. The two teams are also ranked first and second in two other categories. The Bulls are first in goals for and shots for, while the Tornado rank second in both areas.