WICHITA FALLS, TX – One of the strengths of the Amarillo Bulls in the first two years of the franchise has been its ability to close out teams in the third period.
That trait is another part of the early success of the Bulls in the 2012-2013 season. Three goals in the first six minutes of the third broke open a close game and lifted Amarillo past the Wichita Falls Wildcats 5-1.
It was the Bulls 5th win of the season and fourth in a row. It kept them alone in third place in the South Division. The Texas Tornado and Topeka RoadRunners are both seeing action on Sunday in the league.
“We strive to be the best conditioned team in the NAHL,” said Bulls Head Coach Dennis Williams. “Our guys are spending extra time in the weight room, taking additional ice in the afternoon. They are starting to see it pay off a little here.”
Williams said it was another great effort by the team, but they can’t be satisfied because it’s still very early in the season.
“I thought we pushed the pace well tonight,” said Williams. “We rolled our four lines and all our seven defenseman played well. It’s been a heartbreaker the last two games, letting in goals late and not getting the shutouts for our goaltenders. They don’t get recognized a lot during the course of the season.”
The game was close through the first 40 minutes with the Bulls maintaining a 2-0 advantage. That changed quickly as the Bulls went to work with three straight goals. At one point the Bulls outshot the Wildcats 10-1 and controlled most of the play. Gage Christianson scored off a rebound in the first 2:40 from TJ Sherman. Less than a minute later, Hampus Gustafsson deflected home a pass from Michael Davis and Omar Mullan to extend the lead to 4-0. Ryan Cole concluded the Bulls outburst when he scored on a great second effort in front of the net. Carter Penzien added a helper on the marker.
The Wildcats spoiled the shutout bid of Paul Berrafato in the final minute, scoring on a shot from the point after the Bulls failed to clear the puck out.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Wichita Falls Wildcats 32-19 including 13-3 in the final period.
The game started well for the visitors, pressuring the Wildcats in the first two minutes, but the Bulls didn’t score. It would be the power play that would have the Bulls off and running. John Rey’s point shot beat Evan Cowley at 9:41. Tyler Rostenkowski added an assist on the goal. Just over one minute later, the Bulls made it 2-0 on a big shot from Hampus Gustafsson who was set up by Gage Christianson.
The Bulls outshot Wichita Falls 8-1 early in the game and finished ahead 10-6.
There was no scoring in the second period, but the Wildcats came on and had a few scoring opportunities but goaltender Paul Berrafato turned them all away. The Wildcats outshot the Bulls 10-9 in the middle stanza.
It’s a short wait for fans as the Amarillo Bulls return to home ice at the Budweiser Bull Pen on Thursday and Friday at 7 pm against the rival Odessa Jackalopes. 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 on Group Rates or Flex Packs, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.