ODESSA, TX – The Amarillo Bulls achieved two impressive franchise marks on Saturday night.
The Bulls captured the South Division regular season title and hit the 40 win plateau all for a third year in row.
Roman Ammirato’s third period goal held up as the eventual game winner as the Bulls edged the Odessa Jackalopes 3-2 at Ector County Coliseum.
Next up for the Bulls are the Wichita Falls Wildcats in the first two games of the South Division semi-finals set for next Friday and Saturday, April 4th and 5th at 7 pm at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
Mike Davis and Matt Sieckhaus netted the other Bulls goals while Paul Berrafato earned his 18th win of the season. The Bulls fired 48 shots on goal in the contest including 36 over the final 40 minutes.
It was a rough start to the game for the Amarillo Bulls as they were penalized in the first minute and then surrendered the first goal. However, after that the Bulls got much stronger as the period went along. They had several terrific scoring opportunities but were denied by goaltender Yoshihiro Kiroiwa who at one point dove across the net to make a save. Mike Davis nearly tied the game when he was sent in shorthanded but couldn’t push the puck across the goal line. Each team had 12 shots on goal in the first stanza.
The Bulls came alive in the second period and fired 20 shots on goal and were able to take the lead. First Matt Sieckhaus finished off a scramble in front of the net from Timmy Moore and Mitchell Vanderburgh at 4:56. Less than four minutes later Mike Davis scored unassisted on the power play his fourth goal of the weekend.
The Bulls had a third goal waved off in the third period when the referee stated that the net was knocked off its posts before the puck had crossed the line.
Special teams were once again the story in the third period as the Bulls had a five minute power play and then a full two-minute, five-on-three. Roman Ammirato scored on a scramble in front of the net from Tyler Gernhofer and Eric Purcell at 16:32. The Jackalopes pulled their goaltender in the final two minutes and scored to close the gap to one goal. But in the final minute of play, the Bulls defense dug deep and prevented the Jackalopes from getting the equalizer and securing the South Division title.
The Amarillo Bulls were 2 for 11 on the power play, while the Jackalopes finished 1 for 5.
There is still plenty of time to purchase your playoff packages and watch the Amarillo Bulls host the Wichita Falls Wildcats at 7 pm on Friday and Saturday night. Prices start at $40 for Silver; $52 for Red; $60 for Glass; $68 for Pit and children under 12 are $28. For further information please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122 or visit 301 South Polk in the Amarillo Building. Single game ticket prices will be announced on Monday.