AMARILLO, TX — It’s been a while since the Amarillo Bulls have called the top of the South Division home.
In fact, since the year after the Bulls captured the Robertson Cup National Championship has the team been anywhere near the top of the South Division standings. That all changed on Friday night as Brett Abdelnour scored twice and Alex Peterson set up three goals the Bulls dumped the Topeka Pilots 5-2 at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
The Bulls are tied with the Pilots for first in the South but based on a better winning percentage vaulted over Topeka into first place. Amarillo also moved into first overall in the North American Hockey League standings based on that win percentage of .857.
Other goal getters for the Bulls were Brendan Datema, David Ojamae and Brendan West. Goaltender Ryan Winter notched the win making some key saves in the first 40 minutes to keep his team in front.
It was another hot start to the game for the Amarillo Bulls with three first-period markers on just nine shots. Alex Peterson found Brett Abdelnour streaking to the front of the net and he was able to tip the puck home. Brendan Datema also had an assist on the play. Five minutes later, David Ojamae netted his second of the season when he fired a puck past Emil Gransoe. Logan Jenuwine and Noah Carlin picked up helpers. The Pilots quickly got that one back on a bad clear by the Bulls as Dallas Tulik was able to push the puck across the goal line. The Bulls rounded out the period scoring when Brett Abdelnour got his second on a pass from linemate Alex Peterson.
The Bulls had several chances to bust the game wide open in the second period, including a full two minute five on three but failed to get anything past Emil Gransoe. Brendan West who was newly acquired earlier in the week found the back of the net for his first NAHL goal thanks to some great work off the sticks of Trey Bagwell and Ryan Lautenbach. Amarillo outshot their opponents 19-8 in the stanza.
Rocky Russo’s charges finally got special teams cooking in the third period as Brendan Datema collected his sixth of the season with blast from the point. Alex Peterson and Jason Brancheau helped out on the goal. The Pilots rounded out the scoring in the final eight minutes of the game when Matthew Francoise scored on a puck that was tipped by the defense.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Topeka Pilots 33-26.
It will be a full week before the Amarillo Bulls return to the ice as they take on the Lone Star Brahmas next Saturday, Oct. 6 at 7 pm at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. 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 or www.amarillobulls.com/tickets. For further information on Group Rates call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.