AMARILLO, TX – Consistency…
It was separates some of the good teams from becoming great teams, and it is what’s been the difference for the Amarillo Bulls in each of the last two games.
The Bulls dropped their second straight shootout game on home ice. This time, it was to their arch-rival the Topeka RoadRunners 4-3 on Friday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
However despite the shootout loss, the Bulls still managed to collect one point, their 30th in their last 34 games, and extend their point collection streak to 17 games. The Bulls lead the Texas Tornado by 14 points in the South Division. Texas has a two point lead over the RoadRunners, but Topeka has a game in hand.
It was a four goal explosion in the opening 20 minutes of hockey. Two Bulls’ goals on the outside with a couple of Topeka markers sandwiched in between.
Matt Johnson gave the Bulls a 1-0 lead when he scored on a one timer on the power play at the 4:03 mark from TJ Sarcona and Brandon Lubin. Topeka battled back and scored two goals almost four minutes apart to take a 2-1 lead. Prior to the end of the first period, the RoadRunners turned over the puck inside their own zone. Tyler Deresky stole the puck and sent it over to Ryan Taylor who was able to fire it in the back of the net to tie the game with just 12 seconds remaining. Topeka outshot Amarillo 15-9 in the first period.
It was Amarillo that took the lead early in the middle stanza when TJ Sarcona banged home a loose rebound after a scramble at the side of the net. Matt Johnson added an assist on the goal at the 3:22 mark. However, the Topeka RoadRunners tied the game with just under six minutes remaining in the stanza.
There was no scoring in the third period, but the Bulls had several chances via the power play but couldn’t capitalize. Amarillo outshot Topeka 11-9 in the period.
After a scoreless overtime, the teams headed to the shootout with Topeka scoring the first three goals forcing the Bulls to play catch up. Tyler Deresky and Brooks Behling scored to make it a one goal game in the shootout. Goaltender Peter Traber stopped Greg Gibson on the fifth and final round of shooters to prevent the Bulls from tying the game.
Each team had six power play opportunities in the game with neither scoring. Bulls Head Coach Dennis Williams said he wasn’t expecting to see a penalty filled game on Friday night.
“I think it’s going to be a hard fought battle,” he said. “I truly don’t think there will be a lot of penalties. There will be a lot of hard hits and excitement. I think you will see two good teams go at it and playoff hockey in early January.”
The Amarillo Bulls and the Topeka RoadRunners will face one another again tomorrow (Saturday) night at 7 pm at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. The Green Men will be in attendance sponsored by Elite MMA and Fitness.
Tickets are available at the Bulls Hockey Office located at 301 South Polk, in the Amarillo Building, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets. Fans can also get tickets at United Supermarkets or online at www.panhandletickets.com. For further information on Group Tickets, Flex Packs or Corporate Marketing Partnerships, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.