RIO RANCHO, NMX – Four goals in the first six minutes of the first period powered the Amarillo Bulls past the New Mexico Mustangs 6-1 on Thursday night at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.
It was the Bulls 45th win of the season and their league leading 23rd on the road. The Bulls will enjoy the day off on Friday before concluding their regular season schedule on Saturday night with their second game against the Mustangs.
“We came out strong, threw a lot of pucks on net and were crashing the net,” said Bulls Head Coach Dennis Williams. “The second and third periods were okay. It was a tough game to keep the guys honest. That’s we try to do is to keep them honest and true to the systems. I think that if they can do that then they will have success in the offensive zone. I thought we got away from that a little bit, and we also need to tighten up the defensive zone.
“I hope on Saturday we can come out and respond, play like we can for 60 minutes as we get ready for the playoffs.”
It was a fast start to the game for the Bulls with three goals in the first 2:11 of the opening period. Ryan Cole tallied from Clint Carlisle and Michael Erickson on terrific work near the front of the net. Thirty seconds later, Brooks Behling put a backhand shot up high on Jake Stafford. John Gustafsson added to the scoring when he fired a shot up high from Greg Gibson.
Four minutes later, Joe Kozlak scored on the power play from Zane Popilock and it was 4-0. After New Mexico trimmed the advantage to 4-1 the Bulls went back to work and it was Michael Erickson with the tip at the side of the net from Clint Carlisle and Ryan Cole.
The second period was scoreless but the Bulls still had the shots advantage 11-3.
In the third period the Bulls rounded out the scoring when Clint Carlisle scored on a feed from Brandon Lubin and Ryan Cole at 16:53.
Goaltender Gregg Gruehl stopped 19 of 21 shots he faced. There were a total of six power plays in the contest with each team scoring once.
The last regular season game for the Amarillo Bulls prior to playoffs is set for Saturday night against the New Mexico Mustangs at 7:30 pm mountain, 8:30 pm central. Fans can tune into the game live on ESPN1440 and www.amarillobulls.com, beginning with the Bulls Warm Up Show Presented By Wayland Baptist University at 8:15 pm. Denis J. Puska brings you the hard hitting action at 8:30 pm. The game is also available on Pay Per View courtesy of Fast Hockey and a high speed internet connection is required.
The Amarillo Bulls will host the first two games of the NAHL South Division Semi-Final series on Friday, Apr. 6 and Saturday, Apr. 7 at 7 pm at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. The Bulls will either play the Odessa Jackalopes or the Corpus Christi IceRays. Single game playoff tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets including United Supermarkets. For further information on Group Rates, or 2012-2013 Season Tickets, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.