AMARILLO, TX – Character wins have been the hallmark of the Amarillo Bulls franchise in each of the first two seasons, and it has certainly been the case in year three.
The Bulls fired four second period goals to snap a 1-1 tie and went on to drub their rival Topeka RoadRunners 7-2 before more than 2,200 at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center. The victory ended the Bulls three game winless skid, the longest of the season and it kept them in sole possession of first place in the South Division.
Tyler Deresky, Gage Christianson, Omar Mullan, newcomer Blake Roubos, Ryan Cole, Tyler Rostenkowski and Tyler Gernhofer all had goals for the Bulls in the victory, their 27th of the season. Fourteen players on the Bulls’ line-up had at least one point in the game, while seven had two points.
“It was a statement game for us tonight,” said Bulls Head Coach Dennis Williams. “Tonight’s game is not about our fans or anything to do with the league. This win was about us. We went through a stretch where we had a loss and two ties (two shootout losses). To come back and set that statement, to get seven on a team like Topeka, gave them that feeling of lets go back to hard work and the smiles on our faces after a win.”
Williams said his charges got back to playing Bulls hockey again.
“What you saw was our guys sticking up for each other, and we played tough-nose hockey,” he explained. “We had a couple of power play goals on the five minute major, our penalty kill was solid, and Paul Berrafato was excellent in net.”
Shorthanded goals started the scoring in the opening six minutes of the hockey game. Topeka gathered the first goal at the 4:05 mark, but just 1:33 later Tyler Deresky finished off a play in front of the net from TJ Sarcona and TJ Sherman to tie the game. Amarillo and Topeka notched their league leading eighth shorthanded goal of the season. The Bulls outshot the RoadRunners 10-7.
The offense kicked into high gear for the Bulls in the middle stanza with four goals on nine shots. Gage Christianson gave the Bulls the lead when he pushed the puck across the goal line from Mike Davis and Blake Roubos. After a seven minute penalty kill for the Amarillo Bulls, in which Topeka managed just a couple of shots on goal, Omar Mullan scored soon after to make it 3-1. John Rey and Matt Sieckhaus added assists to that goal. Just over 90 seconds later, Roubus got into the scoring himself as the newest Bull finished off a play from Gage Christianson and Ryan Cole. Three minutes later, the Bulls were at it again when Ryan Cole scored on a great play in front of the net from TJ Sarcona and Tyler Deresky. The Bulls outshot Topeka 9-7.
The power play finally got going in the third period with two-goals 14 seconds apart on a five- minute major. First off the face off, Tyler Rostenkowski roofed a shot past goaltender MacKenzie Sawyer from Matt Sieckhaus and Tyler Gernhofer. Then Gernhofer wired a shot past the goaltender on the next face off and rush up the ice from Brady Ferguson and Joe Grabowksi. Topeka rounded out the scoring with the goal in the dying seconds of the game.
The Amarillo Bulls outshot the Topeka RoadRunners 30-20 including 11-6 in the third period. There were 12 total power plays with the Bulls going 2 for 5 while Topeka was 0 for 7.
A four game home stand closes out for the Amarillo Bulls next Friday and Saturday when they host the Corpus Christi IceRays. Face off at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center is set for 7 pm on both nights. Tickets can be purchased at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and Panhandle Ticket Outlets. For further information on Group Rates, Seven Game Flex Packs or Corporate Marketing Partnerships, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.