AMARILLO, TX – The veteran leadership of the Amarillo Bulls powered them to a big win on Saturday night in front of a large crowd at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center.
Cody Gylling fired three goals and set up another, while forward AJ Duggan provided a goal to lift Amarillo past the Odessa Jackalopes 5-3. That victory along with the 2-0 loss by Rio Grande Valley to Wichita Falls on Saturday, moved the Bulls to a tie for the sixth and final playoff spot in the South Division.
The Bulls have a short turnaround and face Lone Star Brahmas on Monday afternoon and with a win can take over sixth.
Tristan Rostagno picked up the other Bulls goal, while Joe Leonidas, Will Harrison and Luke Novak all contributed two assists, apiece. There was a scary moment in the game during the second period when Kasper Emanuelsson was hit near center ice. Bulls’ players had to help him off the ice after that incident. No penalty was called by the officials.
Fans were treated to wide-open end to end opening 20 minutes of play. The Bulls and Jacks combined for 30 shots and there was a flurry of action at both ends of the rink. Odessa grabbed the first goal on the power play and had the big crowd very quiet early on. The Bulls got rolling and pulled even When Cody Gylling notched his first from Joseph Leonidas and Will Harrison at 8:05. The Jacks took the lead 2-1 28 seconds later but the Bulls showed more poise and tied things shortly after. Cody Gylling connected on his second of the game from Will Harrison and Luke Novak. The Bulls missed on two shorthanded breakaways by JJ Huerena and AJ Duggan as both were denied by goaltender Tanner Creel.
The Bulls offense got rolling in the second period and scored twice to create some separation from the Jackalopes. First, AJ Duggan scores from Elijiah Barriga and Phi Fromberger at 4:27. Barriga set up the goal by working the puck away from the defenseman along the boards. Near the end of the period, Cody Gylling completed his hattrick when he tipped home a puck from Mike Damien and Luke Novak at 18:23. Anton Martinson kept his team firmly in front in the period with some timely saves. The Bulls outshot the Jacks 18-11 in the stanza.
Tristan Rostagno gave the Bulls a three goal lead near the midway mark of the third period. His shot from the point was deflected in off a stick behind goaltender Tanner Creel. Cody Gylling and Joe Leonidas picked up assists on the goal. The Jackalopes scored three minutes later to close the deficit to 5-3, but were unable to get any closer despite pulling their goaltender near the end of the game.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Odessa Jackalopes 43-35. Each team finished one for five on the power play during the game.
It’s an early start for the Amarillo Bulls on Monday, facing the Lone Star Brahmas at 2 pm at NYTEX Center. Fans can tune into the action live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV courtesy of Fast Hockey, beginning with the Wayland Baptist University Warm Up Show at 1:40 pm.