AMARILLO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls celebrated another first on Thursday night in the Bull Pen at the Amarillo Civic Center.
A four-goal second period power the Bulls to their first playoff win in franchise history, beating the Texas Tornado 7-5.
The second game of the Best-Of-Five series is set for tomorrow (Friday) night at 7 pm, and the Bulls will try to get a commanding lead and use home ice advantage.
The Bulls trailed 2-1 after 20 minutes of hockey and ran into a string of penalties early in the second. The turning point in the contest was the Bulls ability to kill off five consecutive Texas powerplays and then capitalize with a shorthanded marker and a power play goal of their own to erase the deficit.
It didn’t take long for the Bulls to net the game’s first goal as Zack Smoot roofed a shot inside the cross bar to make it 1-0 just over two minutes into the contest. Dan Sherer notched an assist on the goal. The Tornado battled back with two goals to take a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play.
The second period was all Amarillo as they scored four goals, including three in a three minute span. It started when Sean Keane stole the puck at the Texas blueline and fired a shot behind the goaltender to tie the game 2-2. Forty-one seconds later, the Bulls gained the on a shorthanded goal from Matt Johnson as he stole the puck and scored on a breakaway. The Michigan native notched his second straight goal to make it 4-2 when Dan Sherer’s shot went off Johnson’s foot and into the net. TJ Sarcona rounded out the period scoring when he followed up rebound from Sean Keane and Derek Hills.
The third period got off to a great start for the Bulls as Keane collected his second of the game from Michael Erickson at 42 seconds.
However, the Texas Tornado rallied with three goals in the final seven minutes of the game to pull to within one at 6-5. But the Bulls persevered and prevented the Tornado from tying the game. Cody Freeman scored into an empty net in the final seconds from Joe Kozlak and TJ Sarcona.
Each team had 36 shots on goal and there were a total of 12 power plays, with the Tornado having more opportunities going 1 for 8.
Fans are encouraged to get their tickets for the second game of the Best-of-Five series on Friday night at 7 pm. Tickets can be purchased from all Panhandle Ticket Outlets including United Supermarkets, Civic Center Box Office or online at www.amarillobulls.com. For further information regarding group rates or to purchase single game tickets, please call the Bulls office at 806-242-1122.