TOPEKA, KS – It took 24 hours later, but the Amarillo Bulls and the Topeka RoadRunners were able to resume their rivalry that has made it one of the best in the North American Hockey League over the past five years.
After a night of delays and ultimately a cancellation, the Bulls nearly waited too late to get rolling against the RoadRunners and ran out of time in a 2-1 loss at Kansas Expo Center Landon Arena on Saturday night.
Brady Crabtree netted the lone Bulls goal and it came in the third period after his team was trailing 2-0. Goaltender Anton Martinsson, playing in his first NAHL game, took the loss in goal. He played well, turning aside 31 of 33 shots he faced.
The two teams got their match-up going a day late after a Zamboni breakdown forced the cancellation of their first game on Friday. The two teams will close out their series after a short turnaround tomorrow (Sunday) at noon.
It was a fast skating opening 20 minutes of play with not many whistles. The RoadRunners capitalized on a Bulls turnover and took a 1-0 lead to beat rookie goaltender Anton Martinsson. The Bulls were not without their chances inside the offensive zone including Cody Gylling and Charlie Combs and Elijiah Barriga but were unable to beat Matej Tomek. Topeka outshot Amarillo 10-5 in the first period.
The Bulls were on their heels in the second period and goaltender Anton Martinsson was kept busy making save after save to keep his team within striking distance. Topeka added a second goal late in the stanza converting a pass play in front of the net to extend the lead to 2-0.
Amarillo came out firing on all cylinders in the third period throwing everything they had at goaltender Matej Tomek. Brady Crabtree gave the Bulls some life when skated in over the blue line and drilled a shot past the goaltender to make it 2-1. Jesper Synnellius assisted on the power play goal. The Bulls pulled their goaltender in the final minute swarming the net trying to desperately get the equalizer but were unsuccessful.
Despite being outshot 12-5 in the third period, the Topeka RoadRunners outshot the Amarillo Bulls 33-23. Each team had three power play opportunities with the Bulls getting the lone goal.
The Amarillo Bulls and Topeka RoadRunners play one more time tomorrow (Sunday) at noon at Kansas Expo Center Landon Arena. Fans can tune into the action 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 11:40 pm. The puckdrop follows at noon.
Hockey returns to the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center this Friday, Oct. 10 when the Bulls host the Wichita Falls Wildcats at 7 pm. It’s Family Fun Night with fans being able to take advantage of two ticket specials. It’s the return of the Family Fun Pack that consists of four tickets, four sodas and four hotdogs for $44 as well as the Bring-A-Bud Pack of two tickets, two sodas and two hotdogs for $22. Those packages are available at the Bulls Office only located at 301 South Polk or by calling 242-1122. Additional single tickets can also be purchased at the Civic Center Box Office as well as online at www.panhandletickets.com.