With less than 11 minutes to go in the third period, it didn’t look promising for the Topeka RoadRunners down 2-0.
That’s when everything changed.
Following two third period tallies, from forwards Dallas Tulik and Chad Hillebrand, defenseman Matt Barnes made an acrobatic play in overtime, to deliver a 3-2 victory over the Amarillo Bulls Friday night.
On the powerplay, Barnes took advantage of a rebound, diving at the loose puck right outside of the crease and slipping it past goaltender Jason Grande.
“I got lucky, it slid right to my stick and I was just able to poke it through,” Barnes said.
Trailing 2-0, forward Dallas Tulik got Topeka going with his 11th goal of the season at 9:34 of the third period. Tulik took the puck in and fired a backhanded shot towards Grande. The puck found its way just inside the post, getting the Runners on the board.
A fortuitous bounce lead to the tying goal at 17:22, as Hillebrand deflected a shot from defenseman Max Finner that beat Grande, swinging the momentum in Topeka’s favor.
While much of the game was controlled by the Bulls, RoadRunners head coach Justin DeMartino was happy with how his team battled and found a way.
“I think a big part for us was, maybe we didn’t play our best game, but we kept fighting,” DeMartino said. “We’ve had games where I thought we did deserve to win and it didn’t go our way, so it was nice that the ‘hockey gods’ were kind to us tonight.”
After a scoreless first period, Amarillo had two goals just 33 seconds apart in the second period. The Bulls outshot the Runners in the second period 17-5 and 34-23 for the contest.
The two teams return to action Saturday at Landon Arena, with “Pucks and Paws” night, with the Helping Hands Humane Society also on hand.