AMARILLO, TX – For the first time in this franchise’s short history the Amarillo Bulls collected two out of a possible three monthly awards from the North American Hockey League.
Team Captain Mike Davis was selected as the Easton Forward of the Month, while defenseman Brendan Vetter received the Easton Defenseman of the Month. Collin Delia just missed out on winning the Goaltender Of The Month and was runner up behind PJ Bridges.
Both Delia and Tyler Gernhofer were chosen as players of the month in October and November, respectively.
After going through their longest losing streak in organizational history in December, the Amarillo Bulls got back on track in January posting a 10-1 record and vaulting themselves back atop of the South Division. Twenty-year-old veteran forward and Captain Mike Davis had 14 points in those 11 games in January, which included seven goals, seven assists and a remarkable +15 rating during the month.
The native of Newark, Delaware also had three game-winning goals during the month, which came in three consecutive weekends. Davis (5’9/185) had four multi-point games during the month, which included a four-point game in a 4-2 win over Rio Grande Valley back on January 10th. For the season, Davis not only leads the Bulls in scoring with 49 points in 46 games played, but he is also tied for the NAHL lead in scoring. His 30 assists also rank 2nd in the league.
“We went through a slump in December and following that Mike stepped it up as captain and took it upon himself to make the team better on the ice and in the lockerroom,” said Bulls head coach Dennis Williams. “Mike is the ultimate competitor and warrior. He does the little things to make him and his team successful and it will make him a great NCAA Division I hockey player someday.”
“I think losing in December made us stronger as a team. It is something none of us have gone through before playing in Amarillo and it brought us back down to earth and made us realize that in order to be successful this season, we are going to continue to have to work hard every day because nothing is going to come easy,” said Davis. “We needed a break and in January we got back to basics. We just have to take things one game at a time. Winning the cup last season was a great experience and we want to build off that and become better, but we understand that there is a big target on our back. This is a different team and one that is just as capable of winning a championship again, I just want to provide the right leadership. I want to play well and take advantage of the opportunity of being invited to Top Prospects and hope that continued success down the road will lead to a Division I opportunity.”
Meantime, twenty-year-old defenseman Brendan Vetter was also a big part of the Bulls getting back on track in January. The native of North Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, was effective at both ends of the ice as he not only racked up 11 points in the 11 games during the month, but he was also a +11.
Vetter (6’1/190) was named the South Division Star of the Week last week for his five-point week in games against Odessa. Vetter also shined at the beginning of the month in a sweep of Corpus Christi. During the 11 games in January, Vetter was minus in just one of the games.
Vetter has 25 points to date, which ranks 2nd on the Bulls roster for all defensemen and ranks 8th overall in the NAHL. Vetter is a veteran of 138 career NAHL regular season games having spent time with Wenatchee in 2011-12 and Kalamazoo last season.
“Brendan has improved every day since he arrived in Amarillo and he is now an elite defenseman. I think once he got through the first 25-30 games, he really started to understand what he needed to do to make he and his team successful,” said Bulls head coach Dennis Williams. “Brendan does a great job at getting pucks to the net and he is responsible at both ends of the ice. It is something that is going to make him a great NCAA Division I hockey player someday.”
“I think after our losing streak in December, we just tried to get back to basics in January. We stuck with our systems and focused on being a defense-first type team,” said Vetter. “Personally, I try to focus on defense first and be a plus guy in every game. If I can do that, the offensive part of the game should come along with it. We are focused on becoming a better team every day so that by the time the playoffs roll around, we are playing our best hockey of the season and can try and defend the Robertson Cup. After that I want to improve to the point where I can play Division I hockey in the near future.”
The Amarillo Bulls have the weekend off which will be their first of two this month. The Bulls return to action next Friday, Feb. 14 and Saturday, Feb. 15 when they host the Lone Star Brahmas at 7 pm at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. It’s Parents Weekend as the Bulls will welcome players’ parents to the game.
There are plenty of activities planned for those two games including the Bulls wearing specialty jerseys in support of Texas Panhandle Pet Savers. An auction will be held immediately after the game on Feb. 15 with proceeds to benefit that organization. Saturday is also Scout Night.
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 for Corporate Marketing Partnerships, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.