Trailing 2-0 through the first 20 minutes, Matt Nicholson’s charges scored five unanswered goals to beat the Topeka RoadRunners 5-2 in front of a crowd of better than 2,900. The Bulls finished the last nine games at home with a mark of 9-2 in the South Division.
There are still two more games remaining next weekend when the Bulls travel to Odessa to face the Jackalopes at 7 pm on both Friday and Saturday night.
Eric Cooley fired two goals for the Bulls which were the final two of the contest, while Phil Fromberger, Tyler Miknich and Brendan Furry had the others. After surrendering two goals early in the game, goaltender Nikita Babintsev posted the win in goal to climb over the .500 mark of the season.
The Amarillo Bulls came out with a strong first 20 minutes of play, but were unrewarded for their hard work. Brendan Walkom had a big chance in the first minute of play and was denied by Ryan Snowden. The RoadRunners tallied the first two goals of the game like they did 24 hours previously. Nigel Nelson scored on a pass from Will Schlegenhauf at 4:30. Later in the period, it was Matt Barnes with a power play goal as the Bulls failed to clear the puck from their own end. Amarillo outshot the visitors 15-8 in the first stanza.
It was all Amarillo in the 2nd period as the home charges rallied back to tie the game thanks to plenty of hard work and strong fore checking. Brendan Furry gave the Bulls life when he rocketed a shot past goaltender Ryan Snowden at the 5:03 mark of the period from Charlie Singerhouse. In the final six minutes, the Bulls got a face-off win and crashed the net looking to pull even. Tyler Miknich found the loose puck in the slot area and was able to put it into the net. The Bulls outshot Topeka 13-11 in the middle period.
The third period was fast and furious and despite not having many chances on goal, the Bulls were able to capitalize on what was given to them. Forward Brendan Furry sent a centering pass to Phil Fromberger who was able to wire a shot to the top corner to give the home side the lead just 5:21 into the stanza. Just under 90 seconds later, the Bulls put the game out of reach as Eric Cooley and forward George Mika were able to combine on a rush up the ice. Cooley nudged the puck past goaltender Ryan Snowden to make it 4-2. Topeka pulled its goaltender in the final 90 seconds only to see the Bulls turn the table when Matt Nehls found a loose puck and fired it the length of the ice. Eric Cooley was there to take the puck and tip it into the empty net.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Topeka RoadRunners 35-31. There were six combined power plays with Topeka landing the lone power play marker.
The final two games of the regular season are set for next Friday and Saturday when the Bulls visit the Odessa Jackalopes at 7 pm at Ector County Coliseum. Fans can tune into the action live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, online at www.amarillobulls.com and on PPW with Hockey TV beginning with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 6:40 pm. Denis J. Puska has the hard hitting action to follow.
Fans are encourage to support the Amarillo Bulls and Hockey In The Texas Panhandle by purchasing Season Tickets for the 8th year of action this September. For further information on pricing, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122 or visit 301 South Polk in the Amarillo Building.