FRISCO, TX – Ryan Cole’s three goal performance powered the Amarillo Bulls to a 5-1 triumph over the Texas Tornado on Friday night at Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco, TX. It’s the Bulls 45th win of the season one shy of duplicating that year’s record of 46-7-7.
Tyler Deresky and Hampus Gustafsson netted the other Bulls’ goals in support of goaltender Paul Berrafato who won his 33rd of the year. The turning point of the game came in the third period when the Bulls successfully killed off a 5-on-3, and seconds later Tyler Deresky fired a shot past Hunter Leisner to make it 4-1 and put the game out of reach.
“We had to kill eight minor penalties and it makes it very difficult for our guys,” said Bulls Head Coach Dennis Williams. “Our guys battled through it. We held them 1 for 8 on the power play which is great because they are a good special-teams opponent.
“We had a timely 5 on 3 power play goal from Ryan Cole who was our spark with his effort and three goals. You combine him with Paul (Berrafato) in net along with our penalty killing and the ability to roll our lines and it was a great team effort.”
It was a dominating first 10 minutes for the Amarillo Bulls as they controlled much of the play inside the Tornado zone. Ryan Cole gave the Bulls a 1-0 when he scored off the face-off from Gage Christianson at 8:11. After that the Bulls ran into penalty trouble and had to kill off three straight. Each team had 10 shots on goal in the first period.
In the second, Ryan Cole added his second of the contest when he fired a shot past Hunter Leisner. Brady Ferguson and Tyler Rostenkowski collected assists on the play. Just over four minutes later, the Tornado cut the deficit to one when they converted on their fourth power play opportunity. The Bulls outshot the Tornado 10-6.
Early in the third, Hampus Gustafsson scored on a delayed penalty from Blake Roubos to push the lead to 3-1.
The Bulls penalty killing then went to work preventing Texas from scoring. That stretch set up the goal by Deresky.
Ryan Cole completed his hattrick when he finished off a play in front of the net on the power play.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Texas Tornado 30-23 including 10-7 in the final 20 minutes. There were 11 total power plays in the contest with each team scoring once.
The 2012-2013 regular season closes out tomorrow (Saturday) night for the Amarillo Bulls when they finish off a series with the Texas Tornado. Fans can tune into the game live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV courtesy of Fast Hockey beginning with pre-game coverage at 7:15 pm. Denis J. Puska has the puck drop to follow at 7:30 pm.
The North American Hockey League playoffs begin next weekend for the Amarillo Bulls when they host the Corpus Christi IceRays in the first two games of the South Division Semi-Final Series. The games are set for Friday and Saturday at 7 pm at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. 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 call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.