Bulls punch ticket to South Finals with Game 4 win
Amarillo 4 @ Odessa 1 (Amarillo wins series, 3-1) - It is back to the South Division final for the Amarillo Bulls. Two power play goals and another shorthanded lifted the Bulls past the Odessa Jackalopes 4-1 on Tuesday night at Ector County Coliseum in Game 4 of the Best-Of-Five South Division Semi-Final Series. The Bulls win the series 3-1 and will face the Topeka RoadRunners/Texas Tornado winner starting April 20th. Topeka leads their match-up 2-0 with that series to resume on Thursday night.
It was a game that the Bulls had the momentum right from the opening whistle managed to hold off a comeback by the Jackalopes in the third period that pressed the issue but were unable to score. For the first time in this series, the Bulls scored the game’s first goal. Mike Davis followed up a shot that originally hit Ryan Taylor in front of the net. Zane Popilock earned the other assist on the goal at the 9:23 mark. The Bulls again came out firing with plenty of shots, a 16-6 margin in the opening stanza.
In the second period, the Bulls extended their advantage to 2-0 on a goal by Greg Gibson who followed up a rebound in front of the net. Brandon Lubin and Mike Erickson earned helpers at 2:13. After the Bulls ran into penalty trouble, the Jackalopes tallied on a 5 on 3 to trim the deficit to 2-1 with a goal from Lawrence Cornellier with assists to Jared Docken and Ryan Doucet. But on the same penalty, just 31 seconds later, Mike Erickson scored shorthanded from Brooks Behling and John Rey and the Bulls had another two goal lead and the momentum back on their side.
The Bulls rounded out the scoring with power play goal in the third period as Ryan Cole converted a hard pass from Karl Beckman at 12:44. Luke Jenkins added an assist on the goal.
The Amarillo Bulls once again had the shots on goal difference 46-23 over the Jackalopes including 18-4 in the third period. There were a total of 13 power plays with the Bulls going 1 for 8, while Odessa was 1 for 5.
Gregg Gruehl started in goal for the Bulls and made 22 saves, while Connor Hellebuyck started for the Jackalopes, making 42 saves.