AMARILLO, TX – One Amarillo hockey history record was set while another was equaled on Friday night at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
The Amarillo Bulls fired a record four shorthanded goals, including three alone in the second period and went on to blast the Corpus Christi IceRays 10-3. Those four shorthanded goals set a new record by an Amarillo hockey team pro or junior, while the victory was the Bulls 10th in a row that tied a mark set by two Amarillo Gorillas’ teams.
“The penalty kill was very active tonight, and we bumped our number up a little bit,” said Bulls Assistant Coach Rocky Russo. “We were 8 for 8 on the PK, and four shorthanded goals. Finally, a complete effort and sixty minutes! We were solid in all three zones, special teams even strength and from the goaltender on out.”
The Bulls saw their South Division lead increase to 14 points, following a 2-1 loss by the Texas Tornado on home ice.
A couple of turnovers led to the game’s first two goals in the opening period. First Corpus Christi tallied on a turnover inside the Bulls territory. But Tyler Deresky tied the game up almost two minutes later for Amarillo when he stole the puck away from the Corpus Christi defenseman and fired the puck past the goaltender. Less than three minutes later, the Bulls took the lead when Geoff Forman converted a scramble in front of the net by scoring his second of the season. The Bulls outshot Corpus Christi 17-6 in the opening 20 minutes.
The Bulls put on a penalty killing clinic in the second period scoring an Amarillo Hockey History record setting three shorthanded goals. TJ Sarcona, Brooks Behling and Greg Gibson notched those markers that were part of a five goal second stanza. Behling added a second goal, while Matt Johnson picked up a single. The Bulls fifth goal chased starting goaltender Anthony Stolarz who struggled right from the opening face-off.
The Bulls didn’t let off the gas pedal in the third period and added three more goals. Michael Davis scored 17 seconds into the period and then Brooks Behling completed his hattrick. After the IceRays scored their third goal, TJ Sarcona netted his second to round out the scoring. Sarcona finished the game with two goals and three assists for five points and was plus six.
Mike Taffe got his 14th win of the season and made some key saves when he was called upon.
The game was a physical one as the Bulls punished the IceRays with some big hits which was something that Bulls Head Coach Dennis Williams wanted to see more of.
“I don’t think we have finished a lot of our checks lately, and it’s something that we have been stressing more lately,” said Williams. “We hope they buy into it more. The more times you can chips pucks back behind their defenseman, hit and punish them, you create a little more space in the third period.”
The Amarillo Bulls will host the Corpus Christi IceRays for a second straight time tomorrow (Saturday) night 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 in the Amarillo Building, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket Outlets. For further information on Group Rates, Flex Packs or Corporate Marketing Partnerships, please call The Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.