For the Amarillo Bulls winning hasn’t been the simplest of things lately, but the fact they have a three game winning streak is the most important thing.
The Bulls notched their sixth win in their last eight contests at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Friday night by scoring three goals in a span of four minutes to edge the rival Topeka RoadRunners 4-3. The Bulls collected their third win first in regulation after the last two requiring overtime and a shootout respectively last weekend.
Amarillo trailed 3-1 with less than seven minutes remaining went to work thanks to back-to-back goals 48 seconds apart by Steven Ipri and Brendan Walkom. The home side wasn’t done yet as Eric Cooley scored off a George Mika face off win with under three minutes left in regulation to give the Bulls the lead they wouldn’t relinquish. That was Cooley’s second of the game.
Turnovers were the story in the opening 20 minutes of hockey as the Topeka RoadRunners were able to strike from the same part of the ice. Will Schlegenhoff scored off a Colin Price turnover just 4:30 into the period and then scored a second goal when he was left alone in the slot area four minutes later. The Bulls generated just nine shots on goal in the opening period but nothing that goaltender Ben Churchfield couldn’t handle.
The second period was a better one for the Bulls and it also got a little rough and tumble. The Bulls got on the board thanks to work on a five minute power play. Phil Fromberger’s shot from the point went off of Brendan Walkom in front of the net who pushed the puck over to Eric Cooley. It was an easy play for Cooley to slam it home at the side to cut the deficit to one. There was skirmish later in the period as Jake Nitsche and Tyler Miknich each got into scraps at the same time. Amarillo outshot Topeka 11-8 in the third period.
Topeka regained a two goal lead early in the third period when Nick Granowicz scored on the power play. After that the Bulls began to gain momentum and put the rally into motion. Steven Ipri tipped home a shot from the point from Brendan Michaelian and Luke Edgerton. A very short time later, Brendan Walkom put the puck through the goaltender’s legs with help from Jovan Zimmerman who shot the puck from the point. George Mika also provided an assist. In the final three minutes Eric Cooley completed the comeback when he scored off a Mika face-off win.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Topeka RoadRunners 31-28. Each team had a power play goal on a combined seven chances.
The regular season home portion of the schedule closes out for the Amarillo Bulls tomorrow (Saturday) night at 7 pm versus the Topeka RoadRunners at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. The game is co-sponsored by Community Options and Amarillo College. All High School Seniors get a Free Ticket with an ID, it’s also $1 Hotdogs. The first 500 fans through the doors receive an autograph team picture. Fans can get $8 silver section seats and $11 red section seats.
Prior to the game there will be two ceremonies with one honoring the Big Texan Bulls JV Hockey team for winning the New Mexico League title and the other for the 20 year old Senior Bulls players who are in the final season.
Tickets are available at the Bulls Office (open 10 am to 4 pm) located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket locations including United Supermarkets or online at www.panhandletickets.com and www.amarillobulls.com. For further information call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.