Quick strikes doom the Bulls, lose 5-2

Photo Courtesy of San Francisco Bulls
Photo Courtesy of San Francisco Bulls

By Kahlil Najar

SAN FRANCISCO -Three quick goals at the start of the third period proved too much for the Bulls (5-11-1-1) to overcome as they lost the end of a back-to-back series against the Bakersfield Condors (4-12-0-1) 5-2. Tyler Gron and Adrian Foster are proving that Pat Curcio made the right move in trading for them as they contributed a goal a piece and were active throughout the contest. Tyler Beskorowany had a great first and second period as he stopped 16 of 18 shots but it was the third that was the dagger when he let in three goals in under 4 minutes.

The first period proved to be a tough one for the Bulls as they were only able to land two shots on goal and allowed the Condors to take 13 including a goal from Jordan Knackstedt. The Bulls had the puck in the Condors zone but the puck bounced over a Bulls stick and landed on the Condors Joel Broda’s blade. Broda sprinted up ice with a trailing Knackstedt. Broda took a shot that Beskorowany was able to slow down but then it trickled through his five hole and Knackstedt was able to put the puck in the wide open net and give the Condors a 1-0 lead. Both teams played friendly for the rest of the period but you could tell something was in the air as more sticks started swinging in the air and the pushing and shoving began.

The Bulls tied up the game with less than two minutes gone in the second period. After some fierce battling in the Condors zone, the Bulls were able to keep the puck in the zone and Adrian Foster redirected a shot from Dylan King for his first goal of the year and tie it up at one. Then the fun started.

Adrian Foster was camping out in front of the Condors goal and was pushed into Condors goalie Tyler Bunz. Bunz didn’t take too kindly to the interference so he smacked Foster in the face.  When Foster tried to defend himself, the Condors Cunningham came into protect his goalie and skirmish ensued. After some more rough housing, Dean Ouellet and Jordan Knackstedt did some dancing around and some yelling at each other that earned them both 10 minute misconducts. In the span of 30 seconds of ice time, the Bulls and Condors received 14 minutes of penalties.

At 16:50 of the second period, the Bulls scored what may have been the prettiest goal of the year. Jordan Morrison controlled the puck in the center ice and found a streaking Brett Findlay charging for the blue line. The pass ended up in Findlay’s gut and when he was able to pull it out with his hand and place it on the ground, he was already being covered heavily by a Condors defender. Out of the corner of his eye Findlay saw Tyler Gron trailing and hit him with a pinpoint pass and Gron was able get it in the goal for his third goal in two days and give the Bulls a 2-1 lead. The shots were all tied up at 18 after two and the Bulls had to be feeling good going into the locker room.

Coming out on the ice in the third, the Bulls looked a little sluggish and it was obvious in the first 5 minutes that they weren’t ready to come out and play. The Condors Wes Cunningham took a shot from the point at 2:14 that was tipped in by Ryan Watson and tied that game at 2. On a breakaway seconds later, Joel Broda was able to beat Besko with a nice shot under his glove that gave the Condors the 3-2 lead. Thirty-three seconds later after Tyler Gron was called for high sticking, Broda scored his second goal of the night off of a nice face off win from Matt Thurber and took a wicked shot through traffic and made it 4-2. The Condors then added an empty netter with less than 30 seconds to go and made it a final of 5-2.

The Bulls are now 2-10-1-0 when giving up the first goal of the game and are now 1-7 at home. Dean Ouellet who had owned the Condors going into this game (he’s scored 8 goals in 11 games) was held scoreless and only took one shot on goal.

The Bulls look to turn it around on Friday when they head to Utah to take on the Grizzlies.

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

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by Kahlil Najar

SAN FRANCISCO –

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.

Late goal sinks the Bulls, Condors win 3-2

By Kahlil Najar

SAN FRANCISCO –

The San Francisco Bulls started off their second year in the ECHL with a tough preseason loss against the Bakersfield Condors 3-2. The Condors scored the their third and deciding goal with less than 30 seconds left when Gary Steffes put a rebound in after a tilt-a-whirl shot from Nick Wheeler was stopped by J.P. Anderson.

“You try to do everything you can to end up winning but you can’t. We made a lot of mistakes and so did they but we’re just going to learn from it.” said Head Coach Pat Curcio on tonight’s loss. “We wanted to give some of the young guys a chance and it’s a process and that’s the way it goes. You start slow.”

Returning players Dylan King and Kris Belan scored for the Bulls and OHL alum J.P. Anderson was between the pipes and was able to turn away 30 shots against an active Condor offense.

Defenseman Dylan King got the Bulls on the board first when he received a nice pass from Christian Ouellet from behind the next and he was able to beat Condor’s goalie Tyler Bunz top shelf. A little over 30 seconds later, Kris Belan was able to get a nice shot past Bunz from in between the circles in the Condors zone and make it a 2-0 Bulls lead. The Condor’s answered back with two consecutive goals in the second by Daniel Sobotka and Blair Maccaulay to tie the game at two a piece. The second goal being a short-handed masterpiece by the Condors stellar penalty kill line. The Condors sealed the victory with a nice rebound goal by Gary Steffes who shoved the puck under the sprawling Anderson.

The Bulls have a 22 man roster and a lot of them are young guys trying to earn a shot on the team. On putting the young players in the game, Curcio said “We want to see what their abilities are and who can do what.” Curcio continued and called out the play of Right Winger Dale Mitchell and said that he was” very good tonight. He’s going to be a good player for us.”

Also on the roster tonight was Anthony Taylor who earned a spot on the roster after wowing Curico and the Bulls staff at last month’s Open Tryout’s at the Cow Palace. “It was a great experience and it was very good hockey. I really liked the fans, they seemed really cool” said Taylor on stepping onto the Cow Palace ice for an official game. Curcio commented on Taylor’s and gave us a look into his future, “I thought he’s done a good job through training camp. We’re going to get him assigned to a Southern Professional team or Central League team where he can get his feet wet. He’s a young player and if he does well, we’ll give him another opportunity.”

The Bulls return to action on Saturday to host the Stockton Thunder at 7:30 pm at the Cow Palace.