by Kahlil Najar
SAN FRANCISCO –
The San Francisco Bulls renewed their fierce rivalry with the Stockton Thunder tonight and came up short losing in a shootout, 4-3. Ryan McDonough scored twice for the Bulls and Curcio stand-out Dale Mitchell contributed with his first goal of the preseason.
Stockton jumped on the board first when Alex MacLeod put the puck past Beskorowany with assists coming from Escobedo and Noble. The Bulls answered back when Dale Mitchell tipped in a shot that Captain Scott Langdon launched from the blue line. The Thunder retook the lead on a Corey Trivino goal that went in right after a Bulls penalty had expired to make it a 2-1 Stockton lead. With only 2.2 seconds left in the first period Bulls Center Ryan McDonough found the back of the Thunder goal after receiving a pass from Forward Chris Crane to tie the game at 2-2 going into the first intermission.
The second period saw both teams score a goal a piece to get the game tied at three. James Henry of the Thunder scored on a power-play goal early in the period and Ryan McDonough tied the game on his second goal of the night when he received a nice pass from returning All-Star Dean Ouellet.
After a heated third and overtime period which saw both teams grinding and putting bodies into the boards, the game headed into a shootout. Trivino and Henry were able to score for the Thunder while only Brett Parnham was able to put one past Milner and gave the Thunder the 4-3 victory.
“I hate losing when you play like that. You get 40 shots and you go into the shootout. This team has to find confidence in order to put teams away,” said Head Coach Pat Curcio on the loss.
Even with the loss, the Bulls found new players like Dale Mitchell and Ryan McDonough coming through and shinning for the team as well as vets like Dean Ouellet and Jordan Morrison. On Ouellet and Morrison, Curcio said,”It was nice to have people you’ve trained for a while to come in and make a difference. You need those gamers, they’re going to be great for us.”
“I think we played good as a team and we did a lot of the stuff Coach wanted us to do. We’re moving forward pretty well,” said McDonough on the team tonight. Addressing the rivalry, he said, “I haven’t had a rivalry like this since junior league. It’s pretty exciting.”
Dean Ouellet, who played in Kazakhstan this off-season said “It feels good to be back. It was a good fit for me to be back and I feel really happy to be here. Our team this year is going to be a really good and the boys are hanging out together and getting along.”
The Bulls play their final preseason game on Sunday when they travel to Bakersfield to take on the Condors at 4 pm.