CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – The Amarillo Bulls used an all important game in hand to their advantage on Sunday afternoon.
Tyler Gernhofer fired three goals to power the Amarillo Bulls to their 36th win of the season, a 6-1 triumph over the Corpus Christi IceRays at American Bank Center. The victory moved the Bulls nine ahead of the Topeka RoadRunners for first place in the South Division. The Bulls also climbed to within three points of the Fairbanks IceDogs for first overall in the North American Hockey League.
The Bulls head into a weekend off and don’t play again until March 7, 8 when they face the Topeka RoadRunners on home ice.
Gernhofer spread out his hattrick over three period scoring one goal each, while Mike Davis, Brady Ferguson and Kyle Gattelaro added singles. Goaltender Collin Delia posted the win in goal, stopping 18 of 19 shots he faced.
Special teams counted for the first two goals of the game in the opening period. The Bulls grabbed a 1-0 lead when Mike Davis was allowed to come out in front of the net and jam one in on the far post at the 6:32 mark. Joe Grabowski got an assist on the play keeping the puck in at the blueline.
The IceRays ended a scoreless drought of over 135 minutes when they scored a power play goal of their own six minutes later. In the dying seconds of the stanza, the Bulls took the lead when Tyler Gernhofer shot the puck in the goal as time expired. Referee called the goal good and the Bulls had the lead. Amarillo outshot Corpus Christi 10-7.
The Bulls opened the game up in the second period scoring three times including two goals 1:40 apart. Gernhofer scored his second of the game converting an IceRays turnover in front of the net. Brady Ferguson made it 4-1 when converted a great pass from Eric Purcell. That goal chased goaltender Forbes Ploszaj and he was replaced by Ben Myers. The former IceRay Purcell set up the fifth Bulls’ goal, and third of the middle stanza when Kyle Gattelaro scored in front of the net. The Bulls outshot the IceRays 13-6.
Tyler Gernhofer rounded out the scoring by finishing off his hattrick in the final 35 seconds. He scored on a breakaway while the Bulls were killing off a penalty.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Corpus Christi IceRays 32-19 including 9-6 in the third period.
There were eight total power play between the two teams, with the Bulls going 1 for 3 and Corpus Christi was 1 for 5.
Hockey returns to the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center Friday, Mar. 7 and Saturday, Mar. 8 when the Amarillo Bulls entertain the Topeka RoadRunners in a battle of the top two teams in the South Division. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets. For further information on Group Rates, or 2014-15 Season Tickets please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.