BLAINE, MN – The Amarillo Bulls remained unbeaten in opening games at the North American Hockey League Showcase, and they used special teams to do it.
Five power play goals propelled the Bulls past the Johnstown Tomahawks 6-3 at the Schwann Super Rink. Six different Bulls figured in the scoring with goals coming off the sticks of Tyler Gernhofer, Brendan Vetter, Kyle Gattelaro, Matt Sieckhaus, Roman Ammirato and Mike Davis. Colin Delia came on in relief of starter Paul Berrafato and posted the win in goal.
Much of the game was spent by both teams penalty killing. There were 18 total power plays in the game with the Bulls penalty killing limiting Johnstown to just one goal on 11 opportunities.
Tyler Gernhofer gave the Bulls a 1-0 lead early in the first period and started a string of four straight power play goals. Mitchell McPherson and Matt Sieckhaus earned assists on the goal.
Johnstown netted back to back goals 1:26 apart to take a 2-1 advantage. Near the end of the stanza, Brendan Vetter tied the game for the Bulls when he converted a feed from Omar Mullan and Mike Davis. There were 12 total shots in the first with each team having six.
In the second period, the Tomahawks took a 3-2 advantage with their second even strength goal. In a span of 65 seconds, the Bulls took a 4-3 lead when Kyle Gattelaro and Matt Sieckhaus scored. Ryan Stevens, Brendan Vetter and Roman Ammirato earned assists on the play. The Bulls outshot the Tomahawks 10-8 in the second period.
Roman Ammirato scored an insurance goal early in the third period to make it 5-3 off a penalty kill from Davis and Gattelaro. Davis rounded out the scoring with the Bulls fifth power play goal from Gattelaro and Ammirato. Johnstown outshot the Bulls 11-9 in the third period.
Goaltender Colin Delia who came on early in the second period made some key saves especially in the third period to keep the Bulls in front.
The Amarillo Bulls and the Johnstown Tomahawks each had 25 shots on goal in the game.
The North American Hockey League Showcase continues on Thursday and the Amarillo Bulls are back in action at 8:15 pm against the Bismarck Bobcats at the Schwann Super Rink. Fans can tune into the game live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV courtesy of Fast Hockey beginning with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 8 pm. Denis J. Puska has the puck drop to follow at 8:15 pm.
The Amarillo Bulls fourth opening weekend is set for next Friday and Saturday, Sept. 27-28 at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. That weekend the Bulls will host the Odessa Jackalopes at 7 pm. Friday night is $1 hotdogs and $1 sodas while Saturday is Championship Celebration Night. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets. For further information on Group Rates, as well as Full or Partial Season Tickets, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.