On Sunday night, the Wild from Wenatchee beat the Amarillo Bulls by a score of 7-0 in pool play. Oh my, what a difference 24 hours makes. The crowd favorite Amarillo Bulls stampeded the Wenatchee (Wash) Wild on Monday night at the Dr. Pepper Center in Frisco, to win the North American Hockey League Championship.
The Bulls dominated the game from the first face off. The Bulls took a 2-0 lead as Tyler Deresky got free down the left hand side and fired a shot low to beat Nichols.
Ryan Cole was the star of the show with a pair of goals and his goalie, Paul Berrafato, turned away all 16 shots he faced. Conversely the Wild's hometown kid in goal, Robert Nichols, faced a nonstop barrage from all angles. The Dallas raised Nichols saw 24 shots and saved just 19.
The first of Cole’s goals came short handed with a 7:30 to go in the second period. His second goal came less than three minutes later. And that was all she wrote for the Wild.
Omar Mullan and Tyler Deresky had a goal and an assist each for Amarillo and Matt Sieckhaus assisted on two goals.
Amarillo was pretty good this season to say the least. Combine the regular season (46-7-7), with their two rounds of the playoffs (6-1) and four games in the Robertson Cup tournament (3-1), and the Bulls went an insane (55-9-7). That's an .824 win percentage for those of you with the calculators.
This tournament didn't come without controversy though. Due to an overly complicated and bizarre set of tiebreaker rules - the Bulls would NOT have made Monday’s championship game if they'd have lost by just 1 to the Wild on Sunday night in the pool play game. But if they lost by more than 1 they would somehow receive the #2 seed. Don't ask... There's no REASONABLE explanation as to why this was the case. The result was a 7-0 loss for the Bulls to the same team that they would pound one night later to take the cup championship.
The loss was so staggering, and so obvious to fans, most expect some kind of fallout from this loss and a subsequent change in the playoff formatting and tiebreaker rules before next years championship game.
First Period: 1, Amarillo, Joe Grabowski (Clint Carlisle), 12:28; 2, Amarillo, Tyler Deresky (Matt Sieckhaus), 5:41.
Second Period: 3, Amarillo, Ryan Cole (Omar Mullan), 7:30; 3, Amarillo, Cole (T.J. Sarcona, Deresky), 5:04.
Third Period: 5, Amarillo, Mullan (Sieckhaus), 4:53.
Goalies: Amarillo, Paul Berrafato (16 shots, 16 saves); Wenatchee, Robert Nichols (24 shots, 19 saves).