AMARILLO, TX – Amarillo Bulls Head Coach Rocky Russo has told fans that he would do whatever it took to have his team in position to contend for a Robertson Cup Playoff spot in the second half of the North American Hockey League season.
That push began with the acquisition of Austin O’Rourke and Jared Domin from the Lone Star Brahmas and continued with several other transactions over the past couple of days.
“When I accepted this Job I made a commitment to change the culture of this program, and putting the Bulls back into position to compete for a National Championship,” said Head Coach Russo said. “Much like in 2010, it doesn’t happen overnight. We are making personnel decisions that reflect the commitment that was made on that day. I will not rest until we have a team that can compete for a championship and make our fans proud.”
The Bulls acquired defenseman Noah Bormann from the Bismarck Bobcats in exchange for forward Simon Morberg.
Bormann, a native of Blaine, Minnesota, notched three goals and six assists for nine points in 30 games with the Bobcats. It’s the second season for the 6-2, 215 pound rearguard, who had two goals and six assists for eight points in 48 games in the 2016-17 campaign.
“Noah is an experienced defenseman with an excellent skill set,” said Russo. “He skates very well, competes hard, and makes good decisions with the puck. He is exactly the type of player we were looking to add to our D-Core.”
Morberg, a native of Goteberg Sweden had eight goals and seven assists for 15 points in 26 games. Four of his eight goals came on the power play.
“We would like to thank Simon for his time and with us and wish him the best of luck,” Russo said.
The Bulls also acquired forward Trey Bagwell from the Aberdeen Wings for financial considerations. Bagwell, a native of Tempe, Arizona, had three goals and four assists for seven points in 28 games for the Wings. Last year as a rookie, Bagwell had three goals and four assists for seven points in 36 games.
“We are excited to add Trey to our club,” said Russo. “He is a very hard working player with excellent character and leadership skills. As a 98, he can also return to us next season so that will help build our team for the future as well.”
The Bulls also added veteran leadership in goal with Trevor Micucci from the Minnesota Wilderness last weekend for a first round NAHL Draft Pick. Micucci started for the Bulls last Sunday in the third game of the weekend set with the Odessa Jackalopes.
“We are excited to add Trevor to our organization,” he said. “He is a veteran goalie that has success at all levels of hockey as well as in the playoffs. We are confident that he will be a good goaltender partner for Jason and help us to strengthen our team.
Micucci was the Eastern Hockey League goalie of the year in 2014-15 while playing for Rocky and the Philly Little Flyers.
In another separate move, the Bulls sent forward Tyler Miknich to the Kenai River Brown Bears for a 5th Round NAHL Draft Pick. Since returning to the line-up from injury, Micknich, a native of Anchorage Alaska, had two assists in six games. In 51 games for the Bulls last year Michnich had three goals and three assists for six points.
“This is an opportunity for Tyler to be closer to home and get more of a chance to play,” he said. “It was tough to make the move but it was in his best interest. We thank him for his time in Amarillo.”
The new look Amarillo Bulls return to action next Friday, Jan. 12 and Saturday, Jan. 13 when they face the Corpus Christi IceRays at American Bank Center at 7 pm. Fans can tune into the action live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, online at www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV with Hockey TV beginning 20 minutes before the puck is dropped with pre-game coverage.
Hockey returns to the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Jan. 18, 19, and 20th when the Bulls host the Odessa Jackalopes in the next three games of the New Avenues I-27 Freeway Championship Series.
Saturday is Star Wars Night Presented by Comic Con in support of 24 Hours in the Canyon. The Bulls will wear special jerseys and live auction will follow immediately after the game on the Saturday night.
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.amarillobulls.com and www.panhandletickets.com.