By Kahlil Najar
SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Bulls (13-19-2-1) were defeated by the Alaska Aces (21-9-2-1), 5-2 on Saturday night at the Cow Palace. Brett Findlay and Sebastian Stalberg scored for the Bulls on their second annual LGBT night where the team wore special jerseys to show their support for the LGBT community in San Francisco.
Coming off an impressive win the other night against the Aces, the Bulls and their fans were looking forward to another hard fought, nail-biting night of hockey. Unfortunately, the game played out exactly as it did on Friday night but without the impressive comeback.
In the first period the Bulls were getting quality passes off to the front of the Aces goal however no one was there to put the puck home. Meanwhile the Aces seemed to skate into the Bulls zone with ease and set up plays nicely and wait until they got the numbers they needed to mount an attack. The Aces got on the board first when Shawn Skelly scored by coming around the back of the net and jumped on a rebound off a Nick Mazzolini shot and beat Beskorowany to the far post and gave Alaska a 1-0 lead. Less than two minutes later, Mathew Sisca and a fellow Ace were bearing down into the Bulls zone on a two-on-one and after a quick fake pass, Sisca beat Besko through the five hole and gave the Aces a two goal lead.
The Bulls got their first goal of the game and cut the lead in half in the second period when Dale Mitchell picked up the puck from behind the net and shot it out in front of the goal to Brett Findlay who scored into a wide open net. The goal was Findlay’s 26th point of the season and moved him into the fifth position of top rookie scorers in the league. The Bulls were taking shots on Aces goalie Roy however they weren’t quality shots at the all sailed on the ground or saw little flight in the puck at all. Findlay did have a beautiful drop pass to Jordan Morrison but even that shot was turned away by Roy. With 7:01 remaining in the second, the Bulls gave up the puck in their zone to former Bull Peter Sivak who found Tim Coffman in front of the net one-on-one with Besko and beat him top shelf to bring the lead back to two with a score of 3-1.
At the end of the second; after the buzzer sounded, Brett Findlay shot the puck down ice and head referee Stephen Reneau took exception to it and appeared to think he thought it was a knock at him and called an unsportsmanlike misconduct on him to put the Aces on the power play to start the third.
It didn’t take the Aces long to respond as 37 seconds into the final period, Sisca scored his second goal of the game with a nice feed from Coffman and bring the lead to three. At 3:36, Sebastian Stalberg scored his first goal with the Bulls on a nice feed from Dean Ouellet who found him streaking to the net and made it a 4-2 game. The Aces responded quickly when Coffman scored his second of the game when he picked the pocket of a Bulls player and beat Besko top shelf to give the Aces the 5-2 victory.
It was a messy loss for the Bulls as they had more than enough opportunities to capitalize on Alaska’s mistakes. The Bulls weren’t able to connect on a few two-on-one’s and even missed on a few nearly wide open nets when the Bulls had Roy scrambling from in front of the net.
The Bulls now take a few days off before they play again on Wednesday when they take on the Colorado Eagles at 7:30 pm.