South Division Semi-Finals Game #4
Amarillo Bulls 5 @ Corpus Christi IceRays 3
By Rob Lippolis, Corpus Christi IceRays
Goals by Amarillo forwards Hampus Gustafsson and Mike Davis sealed a 5-3 victory, ending the South Division Semi-Final series and the IceRays season in Game 4 on Wednesday night inside the American Bank Center. With the win, the Bulls move onto the South Division Finals for the third time in their three year existence.
The Bulls struck early in the first period on a bounce that landed right on the stick of Tyler Deresky who went in all alone on Hayden Stewart. Deresky’s backhand attempt squeaked by Stewart but Dan McNamara was waiting to tap the puck over the line for a 1-0 lead just 1:10 into the game.
At 4:04 of the second period Brandon Smith tied the game for the IceRays as Luke McDiarmid centered a pass for Smith who buried his first goal of the playoff with the other assist going to Nick Monfils.
The IceRays took the lead exactly nine minutes later when Grant Hutton took a shot from the right point that was padded aside by Bulls goaltender Paul Berrafato. The round however went right to an awaiting Emil Romig, backhanding his second of the playoff in for a 2-1 Corpus Christi lead.
Amarillo picked up two quick goals to regain the lead they held to start the period. John Rey, while on the power-play, notched his third goal in two games at 15:29 of the second to tie the game. The only assist was given to Omar Mullan.
Just 18 seconds later the Bulls took the lead as Tyler Deresky took the puck off an interception and beat Hayden Stewart unassisted for a 3-2 Amarillo lead after two periods.
In the final period of play the IceRays evened the score off the stick of Charles Baldwin who just pushed the puck over the goal line behind Paul Berrafato on the power-play with assists to Perry D’Arrisso and AJ Jarosz at 4:51 of the third.
Hampus Gustafsson scored the first goal of the series and picked up the game winner in Game 4 beating Hayden Stewart over his right shoulder at the 9:09 mark to put Amarillo in the lead for good 4-3.
To finish out the scoring, Mike Davis went between the legs of Stewart on a breakaway to push the Bulls out to a 5-3 lead, which would also be the final score.
The Bulls now await the winner of the Topeka vs. Texas series in the South Division Finals.