FRISCO, TX – Michael Erickson netted the game winning goal 1:12 into overtime to lift the Amarillo Bulls past the Texas Tornado 3-2 here on Saturday night at Dr. Pepper Star Center.
It was the Bulls 28th win of the season and third straight over the Texas Tornado. The Bulls collected five out of a possible six points over the weekend, but now are tied for second place with the Tornado with 60 points. Texas notched a point in the OT loss. Amarillo is placed ahead of Texas in the standings because they have played less games and have those 28 wins.
Fans in attendance were treated to playoff atmosphere style of game between the two teams as they went hard at it for 60 plus minutes. The Bulls had built a 2-0 lead going into third period until the Tornado tied the game with two goals, including one on the power play.
In overtime, Matt Johnson started a rush inside his own end and his pass went off of Erickson and in behind goaltender Jimmy Kruger for the game winner.
After a scoreless 20 minutes of hockey, the Bulls defense got into the offense with a pair of markers. First Karl Beckman waited out the defender and took a quick wrist shot that beat Kruger to make it 1-0. Less than a minute later, John Rey riffled a shot home from the high slot to make it 2-0. Michael Erickson, Cody Freeman, Dan McDougall and Beckman got assists on the goals.
Goaltender Nikifor Szczerba was again outstanding in net for the Bulls kicking out 27 of 29 shots. There were a total of 11 power plays in the game with the Bulls going 0 for 5 and the Tornado was 1 for 6.
This is the last game for the Bulls and North American Hockey League teams for 11 days as they will participate in the 2nd Top Prospects Tournament next weekend in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Cody Freeman, Derek Hills and former Bulls goaltender Steve Bolton will be on the South Division roster.
The Amarillo Bulls return to action on Thursday, Feb. 24 when they visit the New Mexico Mustangs at 8:30 pm central time. Hockey is back at The Bullpen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Friday, Feb. 25 and Saturday, Feb. 26 when the Bulls hook up with the Corpus Christi Ice Rays at 7 pm. On the Friday, it’s Scout night and to book your Troop our Pack, please call the Bulls office at 806-242-1122. On the Saturday, the Bulls will be wearing their special Make-A-Wish Jerseys and there will be an auction immediately after the game.
Tickets are available from all Panhandle Ticket Outlets, including United Supermarkets, Civic Center Box Office or online at www.amarillobulls.com. Call the Bulls office at 806-242-1122 for Group Tickets, Flex Packs or to purchase single game tickets.