Amarillo Bull-dozes Topeka

Push It Two Amarillo Bulls hold Topeka RoadRunners players against the boards on Friday night. Amarillo dominated much of the contest, winning 6-2.

Richard Kelly

The Amarillo Bulls looked less than intimidated by the Topeka RoadRunners Friday night.

After taking a 2-0 lead in the first period, Amarillo (19-3-3) blew open the game in the first half of the third period, scoring four goals in a six minute span, as they defeated Topeka (14-9-2) 6-2 at Landon Arena.

For the RoadRunners, capitalizing on opportunities proved to be an issue. Topeka was outshot 25-19 for the game, but they generated numerous scoring opportunities that they could not finish.

“We had the chance to even the score and we didn’t and we became frustrated,” said Scott Langer, Topeka head coach. “Teams at this point are certainly picking on our lack of depth.”

Halfway through the first period, it appeared Topeka had an opportunity to score as they went on their first powerplay of the contest. But instead, at 11:35, Amarillo capitalized on a two-on-one break into the offensive zone, beating Topeka goaltender Josh Hillegas to take a 1-0 lead.

“We had an opportunity to really swing the momentum our way and it ended up in the back of our net,” said Langer. “It’s certainly heartbreaking.”

Amarillo forward John Gustafsson scored on an unusual goal at 14:23 as Hillegas began to move across the crease in anticipation of a pass by Gustafsson. The puck trickled short side past Hillegas for a 2-0 lead.

The second period included chances for both teams although neither were able to cash in. Topeka lost the services of defenseman Luke Veitch late in the period, though, as he was given a misconduct for a check from behind.

Just as Veitch’s penalty ended, Amarillo forward Mike Adams made it 3-0 at 2:40 of the third period. Forward Ryan White brought Topeka within two goals at 5:30, but the momentum was short lived. Just 27 seconds later, Amarillo regained a three goal advantage when forward Tyler Deresky found the back of the net.

From there, the onslaught continued as Gustafsson and forward Karl Beckman scored at 7:17 and 7:46 to make it 6-1. White scored his second goal of the night at 12:19, but it was too late for a Topeka comeback.

Hillegas was pulled from the game after Amarillo’s fifth goal and made 14 saves on 19 shots. In relief, goaltender Peter Traber made five of six saves.

The issue for Topeka moving forward continues to be with injuries, as the RoadRunners played Friday without many of their top performers.

“We just don’t have enough guys right now, “said Langer. “We’re relying on depth and we’re just not mature enough.”

The two teams play again Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.