In the final regular season home game of the 2015-16 season, the real winner was Tanya Blenden, who was the winner of a free car as part of a season long giveaway promotion. On the ice, though, it was Amarillo who claimed the win in overtime, 3-2.
Amarillo, held scoreless the previous night, scored on their first shot of the game, at 3:35 on Jake Rosenbaum’s first goal of the season. Topeka had a full 2:00 5 on 3 power play followed by another 3 minutes of major power play time but were unable to score, and the Bulls led 1-0 after 1.
In the second period, it was a power play goal for the Bulls at 6:14, a blast from Nick Santoro and the Bulls led 2-0 at the end of two.
In the third period, the RoadRunners gave the home crowd a jolt, with Johnny Walker launching a short side rocket at 9:26 on a 4-on-3 power play, and John O’Connor knotting the score at 2-2 just :41 seconds later. Luka Maver picked up a pair of assists. Topeka was awarded a penalty shot with :09 seconds left when a Bulls defender covered the puck in the crease with his hand, but Dominic Lutz had his shot turned aside by Brian Baker and the game headed to overtime, where Bulls veteran Tyler Gernhofer scored on a breakaway for the 3-2 Bulls win to snap an eleven game losing streak.
Topeka (33-23-2) wraps up their regular season next week against Lone Star (38-11-9) in a preview of the South Division Semi-Finals, beginning the following week. Wichita Falls clinched the division Saturday night despite losing in Corpus Christi. The playoff schedule will be announced by the NAHL soon. It will be a best of five series. From NAHL.com, “Round 1 of the playoffs may begin no earlier than Thursday, April 14, 2016 and must conclude no later than Monday, April 25, 2016.”