AMARILLO, TX —The Amarillo Bulls extended their winning streak to five games, and in the process climbed to within two points of not only the South Division lead but the overall standings after holding off the Topeka Pilots 5-4 on Friday at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
The Bulls scored all their goals in the first 40 minutes, including three in the middle stanza to break open a tie game. Logan Jenuwine, Louis Helsen, Nick Anderson, Jason Brancheau and Brendan Datema tallied for the winners. Datema fired his second game winner on the season via the power play late in the second period to make it 5-2 at the time.
It was a wild opening period as each team scored twice. The Bulls had the advantage with 15 shots on goal and better scoring chances. Topeka jumped out to a quick lead when Max Finner scored on an end-over-end shot that dribbled through the pads of Jason Grande. Less than three minutes later, the Bulls pulled even as Louis Helsen wired a shot past the far post and into the goal with help from Gerard Marretta and Aaron Swanson. Five minutes after that the Bulls took the lead when Logan Jenuwine scored on a great pass from Alex Murray and Jake Willets. The Pilots tied the game 2-2 when Dallas Tulik scored on a rock under the cross bar.
The second period featured four goals including three in a row by Rocky Russo’s charges. All of the goals took place in the last nine minutes of the middle period. Nick Anderson continued his hot play with a shot from the point at the 11:09 mark. Brett Abdelnour and Brendan Datema picked up assists on the play. That was followed up by Jason Brancheau who teed one up to the top shelf with help from Trey Bagwell and Abdenour. The Bulls extended their lead to three when Brendan Datema wired a shot past Metcalf on the power play. Nick Anderson and Trey Bagwell helped to assist on the play. Just before the end of the period, Topeka pulled back to within a pair as Dallas Tulik tipped home a shot. The Bulls outshot Topeka 15-7.
It was a tight third period with the Bulls getting several chances to put the game out of reach but Topeka goaltender Sam Metcalf made some important saves including one off the stick off forward Logan Jenuwine. The Pilots reduced the deficit to a goal as Hugh Quinn scored on a power play goal. However, down the stretch the Bulls defense hung tough and prevented the Pilots from tying the game. Goaltender Jason Grande made some key saves including one off a penalty shot to preserve the win.
The Amarillo Bulls and the Topeka Pilots close off their weekend set tomorrow (Saturday) night at 7 pm at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. It’s Jurassic Park night as fans will have a chance to win prizes and participate in a Dinosaur Dance and Egg Hunt. 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 online at www.panhandletickets.com. Fans unable to make it to the game can tune in live on 107.1 Nash Icon, www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV with HockeyTV beginning with the Fit Omni Warm Up Show at 6:40 pm. The puck drop follows at 7 pm with the voice the Bulls Denis J. Puska calling the hard hitting action.