TOPEKA, KS – The Amarillo Bulls lost a critical game in their fight to remain alive for a playoff spot in the South Division. The visit Bulls surrendered the game’s first four goals and dropped a 4-2 decision to the Topeka RoadRunners on Friday night at Kansas Expo Center Landon Arena.
That loss along with both the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees and the Wenatchee Wild prevailing in their games, extended the Bulls deficit to five points for the sixth and final playoff spot.
Phil Fromberger with his first NAHL goal and George Mika netted markers for the Bulls in the loss. Jacob Weatherly started the game and was replaced late in the second period by Anton Martinsson. One of the strong points in the game was the Bulls penalty killing as they prevented Topeka from scoring on six attempts.
It wasn’t a great start to the game for the Amarillo Bulls as they had to weather a big storm from the hometown Topeka RoadRunners. The Bulls managed just three shots on goal with the best chance coming off a slap shot from Tristan Rostagno from the point. Later in the period the RoadRunners turned over the puck at the side of the net but Luke Novak’s centering pass went out of the zone. The RoadRunners scored twice in less than three minutes. One puck went off a Bulls’ defenseman into the net and the other goal was scored on a rebound in front of the net. The Road Runners outshot the Bulls 15-4 in the first period.
The second period started better for the Bulls as they kept the RoadRunners off the scoreboard for more than half of the stanza. Topeka erupted with another two goals in a three minute span to extend the lead to 4-0. The fourth goal sent Jacob Weatherly to the bench for Anton Martinsson. The Bulls cut the deficit to 4-1 when Phil Fromberger scored on a shot that sneaked past goaltender Matej Tomek. The play was set up on a great pass from Elijiah Barriga who was able to spot Fromberger open. The RoadRunners outshot the Bulls 18-8 in the second period.
Goaltender Martinsson was kept busy in the third period making some big saves to keep his team close. The Bulls rounded out the scoring when George Mika found the back of the net from Fromberger at 15:42.
The RoadRunners outshot the Bulls 9-2 in the period and 42-14 in the game. There were eight total power plays with Topeka going 0 for 6 and the Bulls were just 0 for 2.
The Amarillo Bulls close out their season series with the Topeka RoadRunners tomorrow (Saturday) night at 7:15 pm at Kansas Expo Center Landon Arena. Fans can catch the action live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, and on PPV courtesy of Fast Hockey beginning with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 6:50 pm.
Hockey returns to the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center when the Amarillo Bulls host the Wichita Falls Wildcats in the final regular season home game at 7 pm. It’s Spirit Night and fans are encouraged to draw a poster and they could win a prize in a variety of categories. Tickets are just $5 for Red and Silver Sections and they can be purchased at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets including United Supermarkets or online at www.panhandletickets.com. For further information on Group Rates or 2015-16 Season Tickets call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.