Condors power past Barracuda in 5-2 win

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

by Marko Ukalovic

It was a rough weekend for the San Jose Barracuda on the road. After giving up eight goals the night before, they went to the sin bin early on and were burned by the Bakersfield Condors in a 5-2 loss on Friday evening at Rabobank Arena. San Jose had lost their last three games to Bakersfield.

Bakersfield (34-16-2-1) took advantage of their first two power play opportunities early in the first period. Cooper Marody received a pass from Tyler Bensen and buried the puck past Cuda goalie Josef Korenar (19-6-1) for his 13th goal of the season at the 1:51 mark.

Then Kailer Yamamoto scored his ninth goal of the season at the 5:09 mark. Benson and Marody received assists on the goal.

The Condors put the game away with two goals in the second period. Cameron Hebig received a pass from William Lagesson and shot the puck past Korenar for his 11th goal of the season at the 5:48 mark. Mitch Callahan picked up the secondary assist.

Luke Esposito extended the lead to 4-0 when he scored his third goal of the season at the 12:36 mark. Ethan Bear and Patrick Russell received assists on the goal.

San Jose’s (30-16-2-4) power play was their Achilles’ heel during the game. They had a five-on-three opportunity early on in the third period, but were not able to capitalize and remained frustrated with the man advantage.

Joe Gambardella completed the scoring for Bakersfield in the third period. Bear set up Gambardella for his team leading 26th goal of the season at the 8:33 mark. Esposito was credited with the secondary assist.

Jeremy Roy finally got the Cuda on the board late in the final frame when his shot from the right point beat Condor goalie Shane Starrett (21-4-3) for his sixth goal of the season at the 18:25 mark. Dylan Gambrell and Jonathan Dahlen picked up assists. For Dahlen, that was his third point in two games for San Jose.

Cuda captain John McCarthy tapped in a loose puck in the crease past Starrett for his ninth goal of the season at the 19:12 mark, but was too little too late for San Jose. Kyle Wood and Jon Martin were credited with assists.

Starrett stopped 32 of the 34 shots he faced to pick up his 21st win on the season. Korenar made 21 saves on 26 shots in suffering the tough loss.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 0/5 on the power play. Bakersfield was 2/4.

The announced attendance was 6,004.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda return home to host the Condors on Wednesday 3/6 at 7:00 pm at SAP Center.

Condors stay undefeated in 11 games with 3-1 win over Barracuda

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Marko Ukalovic

When you are the hottest team in the AHL, you continue to find ways to win and the red-hot Bakersfield Condors scored three unanswered goals in the second period to come back and defeat the San Jose Barracuda 3-1 on Friday evening at the Rabobank Arena.

The Condors have won 11 games in a row while San Jose have lost their last two games in regulation. It was also Bakersfield’s first win in regulation against San Jose this season. Bakersfield closed within one point of San Jose for first place in the Pacific Division.

San Jose (26-10-2-4) drew first blood in the first period moments after their first power play opportunity expired. Nick DeSimone was able to keep in a failed clearing attempt by the Condors. He found Rourke Chartier in the slot, who drew a double team and sent over a pass over to a wide-open Anti Suomela, who banked the puck off the post into the back of the net past Condors goalie Shane Starrett (15-3-3) for his third goal with the Cuda at the 8:51 mark.

San Jose had the ice tilted in their favor in the opening frame as they outshot Bakersfield 12-8.

Bakersfield (27-15-2-1) came out determined to start and eventually dominate the second period as they gained the equalizer from Joe Gambardella in the opening minute. Ryan Spooner fed a cross-ice pass over to Gambardella, who back-handed the puck past Cuda goalie Josef Korenar (16-5-1) for his 22nd goal of the season at the 1:17 mark. Keegan Lowe received the secondary assist.

The Cuda had a golden opportunity to regain the lead when Josh Currie turned the puck over at the Cuda blue line. Francis Perron led a two-on-none break with Jacob Middleton. However, one too many passes led to Perron getting a weak shot on goal that Starrett was able to make the save.

Cuda killer Currie burned San Jose for the 18th time in his career against San Jose to give the Condors their first lead. His initial shot on goal was blocked, but regained his own rebound and fired a shot over the left shoulder of Korenar for his 20th goal of the season at the 9:11 mark. Currie’s first goal in three games was assisted by Cooper Marody and William Legesson.

Bakersfield closed out the middle frame with their third unanswered goal of the game. A failed clearing attempt was grabbed by Marody, who passed it over to Currie, who fired a shot on net, but Korenar wasn’t able to control the puck and Tyler Benson cleaned up the rebound for his seventh goal of the season at the 13:23 mark.

In the third period, San Jose had back to back opportunities on the power play, but weren’t able to cash in and cut into the lead. They also hit three posts during the game.

Starrett made 27 saves on 28 saves to earn his 15th win of the season. Korenar stopped 22 of the 25 pucks he faced in suffering the tough luck loss and has lost back-to-back games for the first time in his career.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 0/5 on the power play. Bakersfield was 0/4.

San Jose’s penalty is currently fifth best in the AHL at 84.1% and fourth best on the road at 84.9%.

The announced attendance was 5,111.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda head down to Ontario on Sunday, 2/10 to take on the Reign at 1:00 pm at the Citizens Business Bank Arena.

Bulls continue slump, lose 3-0


By Kahlil Najar

San Francisco – The Utah Grizzlies (5-7-1-1) beat the San Francisco Bulls (4-10-1-1) 3-0 Saturday night at the Cow Palace. The Bulls took 20 shots against Grizzlies goaltender Ben Meisner who stopped them all and got his first professional shutout.

The Grizzlies Danick Paquette gave Utah the early 1-0 lead when he picked up a puck at the redline and fired a shotpast Bulls goaltender J.P. Anderson.  Utah made it 2-0 when Michael Pelech won a face-off  and passed it to Teigan Zahn who buried his first goal of the year. In the third, Utah secured their win with their third goal of the contest when Kris Hogg  received a pass from Brent Gwidt who had gained the puck off a Paquette face off win.

The Bulls were able to launch only 20 shots on goal tonight as opposed to yesterdays game when they had their season high of 19 shots on goal in the first period. Both teams traded power play for power play but were unable to come up with any points on each chance. The Bulls chances were rare all night however in the second Steven Tarasuk had a breakaway opportunity that didn’t land a goal but he was able to draw a penalty and Jordan Morrison had a nice shorthanded opportunity in the third that came about with some great fore-checking.

The Bulls will try to turn it around when they head to Bakersfield on Tuesday to take on the Condors. Game start 7:00 pm.

Bulls open at home with a win, beat Condors 2-1 but lose Mitchell to injury


by Kahlil Najar


The San Francisco Bulls (3-5-1-0) opened up the 2013 season at home with 2-1 victory against the win-less Bakersfield Condors (0-7-0-1). Dean Ouellet and Kyle Bigos scored for the Bulls and Tyler Beskorowany stopped 34 shots. The win snapped the Bulls four-game losing streak and it was the first meeting for both teams this year. The Bulls have a great history against Bakersfield – they went 7-4-1 against them in the 2012 campaign.

On the win Head Coach Pat Curcio said,”I think this team, if we can get our power play a little more effective we can score more goals. If we can do things consistently the right way we can get more wins. We worked hard and trying to be as humble as I can, we had three breakaways and that could have been four or five to one. Their goalie was tremendous.”

Rookie standout Dale Mitchell sustained a strained back and was pulled out of the game with four minutes left in the game. The loss of Mitchell is huge as he was one of the key players that Head Coach Pat Curcio called out as one of the bright new stars on the team.

“He tweaked his back from what we saw and we’re sending him to the hospital to find out a little more,” said Curcio.

After a few minutes of both teams trying to figure each other out the Bulls were able to get on the board first on a nice outlet pass from Dylan King to Dean Ouellet who took a nice backhand shot from between the face-off circles and beat Condor goalie Andy Chiodo low glove side to give the Bulls a 1-0 lead. After the Bulls first goal, the Condors started launching shots at Beskorowany and at the end of the first period the shots on goal were 15-13 in favor of the Bulls.

After less than two minutes into the second period,  Kyle Bigos scored on a blast from the blue line to beat Chiodo and bring the lead up to 2-0. As time was running out on a Bulls penalty, the Condors notched their first goal of the game from Defenseman Wes Cunningham who beat Beskorowany in front of the goal and cut the lead to one.

The third period started with both teams tied with 26 shots a piece and both teams not really liking each other. With 11:48 left in the game, the Bulls Chris Crane and the Condors Wes Cunningham dropped the gloves and let the fists fly putting both teams on the ice with four skaters each. Neither team scored but it underlined what could be a great series for this coming year between both teams. A minutes later on a breakaway, Dale Mitchell suffered his back strain and was taken out of the game. With a minute left, the Condors pulled Chiodo but were unable to get the equalizer and the Bulls secured the victory.

Beskorowany commented on the defense towards the end of the game, “They blocked a lot of shots especially in the last minute thirty-five. They made my night a lot easier.”

On his goal Ouellet said “Brace chipped it to me from our own zone and I thought about passing it but i put it on the goal and luckily it went it. I was looking for the deflection maybe but glad that it went in.”

The Bulls head back out on the road and face the fourth place Stockton Thunder on Monday the 11th at 5pm PST.

Bulls lose to Condors 4-3, winless in preseason

By Kahlil Najar

BAKERSFIELD – In their final preseason game, the San Francisco Bulls lost to the Bakersfield Condors, 4-3. Jordan Morrison, Brett Parnham, and Josh Kidd had goals for the Bulls and J.P. Anderson was able to turn away 28 shots.

The Condors got on the board first with a goal from Gary Steffes at 5:35.The Bulls answered back as Jordan Morrison scored his first goal of the preseason on a nice tip-in play with assists going to Rowe and Belan. Parham contributed his goal of the night when he beat Bunz stick-side with 10:21 gone in the first and made it a 2-1 Bulls lead. Not to be outdone the Condors scored less than two minutes later on a Brett Lutes goal to tie it up at 2-2 at the end of 20 minutes.

Forty seconds into the second period, Nicholas Tremblay gave Bakersfield the lead with an unassisted goal bringing the score to 3-2. After some roughhousing on both sides, the Bulls Josh Kidd tied the game on a liner from the blue line for a score of 3-3. With just over three minutes remaining, Tyler Brenner  scored the game winner with a little over three minutes left in the second to make it a final score of 4-3.

The regular season begins next weekend on October 18 in Alaska, where the Bulls will take on the Aces for the first of a two-game set.