TOPEKA, KS – The Amarillo Bulls collected their 8th point in their first 11th games after falling in a shootout to the Topeka RoadRunners 5-4 on Saturday night at Kansas Expo Center Landon Arena.
With that single point the Bulls are tied for 2nd place in the South Division with the Lone Star Brahmas. The Bulls have next weekend off and don’t return to action until October 27th.
Rocky Russo’s charges rallied from a 2-0 and a pair of one goal deficits with some hard work and determination. Jon Russell, Steven Ipri, Collin Price and Stephen Rex scored for the Bulls. Alexei Masanko played well in goal for the Bulls but took the loss.
“I think the guys were more regretful for the effort in the first period,” he said. “We battled and competed and searched for ways to win. Obviously, I’m never happy with a loss, but in our first real road trip of the year to come out with three out of a possible four points with a young team. I consider that a pretty good weekend for us.”
The first period was a problem for the Bulls again in this contest as undisciplined penalties led to Topeka power plays and ultimately to two goals.
Nick Granowicz drew first blood when he redirected a shot from Matt Barnes off the point. Later in the period, Nigel Nelson was left alone at the side of the net and he tapped one by Alexei Masanko. Topeka outshot Amarillo 10-6 in the first period.
The Bulls came alive in the second period and turned the tables on the RoadRunners firing 11 shots and scoring twice. Stephen Rex notched his second of the season from Gleb Muratzin at 6:35. Less than two minutes later, the power play went to work and Steven Ipri lifted the puck over goaltender Emil Gransoe. Brendan Michaelian and Nick Fea earned assists on the play. However near the end of the stanza, Topeka regained the lead thanks to another power play goal off the stick of Garrett Holland.
It was a back and forth final 20 minutes with Bulls battling back with some hard work. John Russell scored on a wraparound from Steven Ipri and Simon Morberg to tie the game at 3-3. A short time later, Topeka made it 4-3 when Dylan Rauh scored on a sharp angle that beat Masanko on the short side. Down the stretch, the Bulls kept pressing and were rewarded for their hard work when Collin Price converted a 3 on 2 from Brett Abdelnour and Jason Brancheau with less than three minutes remaining in regulation.
There was no scoring in overtime but both teams had their chances as the play went quickly up and down the ice.
In the shootout Austin McCarthy and Gavin Holland tallied for Topeka, while Nick Fea and Jon Russell were denied by Gransoe.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Topeka RoadRunners 36-27 including 17-7 in the third period alone.
The next home action for the Amarillo Bulls is Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28 against the Topeka RoadRunners at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. Friday is the return of the Family Four Pack for $44 and the Bring A Bud Pack for $22. Saturday will be Pink in the Rink in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 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. For further information on Group Rates or Season Tickets, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.