Bulls Win A Thriller Against Rival Thunder In Shootout 3-2

Photo Courtesy Stockton Thunder
Photo Courtesy Stockton Thunder

By Kahlil Najar

STOCKTON – The San Francisco Bulls (15-20-4-1) beat the Stockton Thunder (20-13-0-5), 3-2 in dramatic fashion that saw the Bulls score the tying goal in the third period and win a shootout. The Bulls Sebastian Stalberg shined bright for the Bulls as he scored the equalizer and the winning goal in the shoot out over Brian Foster. Bulls goalie Tyler Beskorowany stopped 34 shots on the night  including the big stops in the shootout on J.P. Burkemper and Matt Bergland.

The Thunder got on the board first when Shawn Boutin took a nice shot from the point and beat Besko who was being screened hard by a Thunder player. There were four penalties in the first including matching fighting majors on Bigos for the Bulls and MacLeod for the Thunder. Macleod was also charged with an Illegal check to the head.

The Bulls tied it up in the second when Jordan Morrison scored his 11th goal of the season off of a rebound that bounced off Foster. Dale Mitchell and Dean Ouellet received assists on the goal. For Ouellet this upped his point streak to six games in a row. With less that five minutes left, the Thunder regained the lead when Matt Bergland beat Besko on a nice pass from Greg Miller and brought it to a 2-1 game after two periods.

The third period saw both teams come out aggressive and saw three penalties called on the teams including a pair of roughing minors only 51 seconds into the period. Sebastian Stalberg tied the game with 6:38 left in the game when he followed his shot and gathered his own rebound and beat Foster to make it 2-2. Both teams turned up the heat as Riley Brace and Garet Hunt displayed when they got unsportsmanlike conduct penalties with three minutes left in the game. Foster and Besko were able to turn away 30 total shots in the period and take the game into overtime.

In the extra period the Bulls gave Stockton a chance when Kyle Bigos was called for tripping but the Bulls were able to hold them off and take the game into a shootout.

In the shoot out, Dean Ouellet and Stalberg scored for the Bulls and Besko stopped four of the the five Thunder shooters and gave the Bulls the 3-2 victory.

The Bulls now have a long 11-day holiday until they return back inside the Cow Palace on January 30th when they take on the same Stockton Thunder. Time of game is at 7:30pm.

Bulls win 5-4 in overtime against Eagles

By: Phillip Torres and Kahlil Najar

DALY CITY-The San Francisco Bulls (14-19-4-1) hosted the Colorado Eagles (19-10-3-2) on Wednesday night at the legendary Cow Palace. The Bulls defeated the Eagles 5-4 in overtime on Dean Ouellet Bobble head night. It was a big win for the Bulls as they defeated a Colorado team that currently sits in second place in a very tough Mountain Western Division, only behind the Alaska Aces.

San Francisco started off hot as they put the first two goals on the board first to jump out to the 2-0 advantage in the first period. Ryan Garlock put the first puck in the net at 7:06 on a power play goal. Dylan King and Kalvin Sagert earned the assists on the power play goal. Garlock received the puck by he boards on the Eagles side of the ice. A quick slap shot got past the stick side of Colorado goaltender Adam Brown for the goal.

Luke Judson made it a 2-0 game with a backhand goal in front of the net at 10:47. Riley Brace and Scott Langdon earned the assists on the play.

 The second period was dominated by the Eagles as they scored three unanswered goals to open up the period. At 6:22 in the period Alex Hudson cut the deficit to 2-1 with a power play goal. Riley Nelson and Brock Nixon recorded the assists on the play. Nixon got the puck to Hudson, who missed on his first shot but snuck the puck into the net with a great second effort.

At 12:30 Mark Nemec  tied the game. Kyle Ostrow and Kevin Ulanski assisted on the play that seemed to have changed the momentum into the Eagles favor. Colorado took its first lead of the night with a goal by Ulanski at 16:23. Ostrow picked up the lone assist and Colorado held the 3-2 advantage until the wining seconds of the second period.

Jordan Morrison scored the “goal that changed the game,” according to head coach Pat Curcio with just 15 seconds remaining before the second intermission.

“It was a huge goal for us,” said Curcio.

“It was the goal that changed the game.”

Morrison’s goal tied the game at three and really gave the momentum back to the Bulls.

The third period consisted of both teams trading goals. Ostrow scored his 17th goal of the season, assisted by Dylan Hood, and Riley Brace scored on an unassisted goal 10:02 to tie the game at 4-4. The second half of the third period was a defensive struggle and the score at the end of regulation remained tied, 4-4.

The overtime period lasted a little over three minutes as Dale Mitchell sent the Bulls home happy with a game winning shot from Brett Findlay and Ouellet to send the Bulls off the ice with a 5-4 victory.

Ryan Garlock made his San Francisco Bulls debut Wednesday as he got into the city Wednesday morning. Curcio praised his new star player who scored a goal his first night on the job in a Bulls uniform.

“We’re extremely lucky to have Garlock,” Curcio said. “We haven’t had a player as talented as this guy ever play for us. He’s a star in this league”

The Bulls will be back on the ice on Friday January 17, 2014 as they will be hosted by the Bakersfield Condors. The puck will drop at 7:00 PM.

Bulls Rally Falls Short, Fall To Aces 3-2

Photo Courtesy Of SF Bulls
Photo Courtesy Of SF Bulls

By Kahlil Najar

SAN FRANCISCO – In their first meeting in San Francisco since the playoffs last year, the San Francisco Bulls(12-17-4-1))  were defeated by the Alaska Aces (9-9-1-1(,  3-2. Steven Tarasuk and Dean Ouellet scored for the Bulls and Tyler Beskorowany stopped 31 of 34 shots. Martin, Molle and Sisca put up the tally’s for the Aces and Olivier Roy stopped 17 shots from the Bulls.

The Bulls came out fast in the first period as they pelted Roy with four straight shots before the Aces got their first shot on goal. However that first shot got the Aces on the board. James Martin took a nice wrist shot and beat Beskorowany with 8:03 gone in the first.  With a little over three minutes left in the first Dean Ouellet scored on a nice feed from Dale Mitchell that Ouellet was able to lift over a sprawled Roy.

In the second, the Aces kept pounding the puck towards Beskorowany and while Besko was laid out on the ground Dustin Molle was able to life the puck over the Bulls goalie and gave the Aces the 2-1 lead with 4:58 left in the period. Less than three minutes later, the Bulls had the puck in the Aces zone and it looked like they were applying a ton of pressure on and had the Aces on their heels. Then the Aces Brad Richard stuck his stick out and intercepted a Bulls pass and found a streaking Mathew Sisca who was one-on-one with Besko and beat him top shelf with a quick wrister to give the Aces a two goal lead at the end of 40 minutes.

In the final period, Steven Tarasuk, who was recently picked up by the Bulls continued his hot streak as he was able to catch the puck on a crazy bounce in front of the Aces goal and push it in to bring the deficit to one goal and make it 3-2. With a little over one minute left in the game and on a power play Pat Curcio pulled Besko and even though the Bulls were able to take three quality shots, Roy was able to turn them all away and hand the Bulls their 17th loss of the season.

“We looked lazy at times but I thought towards the end we battled hard. We could have got lucky and got a point and took it into overtime. We had an opportunity there at the end but Dale (Mitchell) missed it and that’s the way it goes,” said Head Coach Pat Curcio on the final minutes of the game. “It is what it is. We need to be a bunch that overcomes adversity and we’ve done it all year. We’ll look to rebound tomorrow.”

The Bulls and Aces head back at it tomorrow night at the Cow Palace at 7:30pm.

Bulls Score Three In Third, Down Thunder 4-2

Photo Courtesy Stockton Thunder
Photo Courtesy Stockton Thunder

By Kahlil Najar

STOCKTON – The San Francisco Bulls (12-16-3-1) scored three goals in the third and came back to beat the Stockton Thunder (16-11-0-4) 4-2. Tyler Gron and Eriks Sevcenko each scored a pair of goals and Steven Tarasuk contributed with a goal of his own. Tyler Beskorowany turned away 15 shots in the first and 15 over the next two periods to earn his eleventh win of the season.

Tyler Gron got the Bulls on the board first when he was able to beat Thunder goalie Brian Foster with 4:02 remaining in the first. Gron’s goals was his 13th of the season and the assists went to Eriks Sevecenko and Brett Findlay. Less than three minutes later, the Thunder tied the game up when Matt Bergland was able to beat Besko on a nice shot from the slot.

Neither team scored in the second and it seemed like the Bulls saved it all up for the third. Sevcenko, who was playing in his first game in the ECHL, scored his first career goals within a few minutes of each other on back to back penalties to the Thunder. The first goal came on a too many men on the ice penalty and the second came on a slashing penalty. The Bulls were up 3-1 with under 6 minutes left in the game when the Thunders Landon Oslanski brought it to a one goal lead again for the Bulls. However with 53 seconds left in the game, Dean Ouellet fed Tyler Gron for an empty netter and sealed the victory for the Bulls with a final score of 4-2.

The Bulls finish up their five-game series against the Thunder at home tomorrow at 7:30pm.

Bulls let one Slip against Steelheads

By Phillip Torres

DAILY CITY-The San Francisco Bulls (4-5-2-0) hosted the Idaho Steelheads (5-4-1-1) on Friday night at the Cow Palace. The Bulls  were defeated 4-3 in a shootout. Idaho tied the game with at three goals apiece with less than 40 seconds remaining in regulation before winning the contest via the shootout.

The Bulls took the early 1-0 advantage with a goal from Rob Linsmayer. the score was assisted by Kyle Bigos and Brett Findlay. The Steelheads tied up the contest late in the first period after Justin Mercier scored a goal at the 19:01 mark. It was his fourth goal of the season and it went unassisted.

The second period seen both the Steelheads and the Bulls add another goal apiece. Idaho took the 2-1 advantage at 5:58 with an unassisted goal by Mitch Wahl. San Francisco tied up the contest at 2-2 after Dean Ouellet put the puck in the net past Idaho goaltender Josh Robinson. Damon Kipp earned the assist on the play.

The third period was similar to the first two periods in the game. Bigos gave the Bulls their first lead since early in the first quarter with a goal early in the frame. Mark Lee and Dylan King assisted on the the go a head goal. San Francisco’s lead lasted throughout the third period until less than 40 seconds left in regulation.

With the overtime period going scoreless, the game was summed to a shootout. Anthony Nigro knocked in the game winning goal to send the Bulls home with a tough loss.

Head Coach and Bulls’ Owner Pat Curcio said after the game that “We need to learn how to finish.”

If the Bulls are going to get back into the playoffs this year, that’s exactly what they will need to learn how to do throughout this season that is still young.

The Bull’s will be back on the ice Saturday Night against the same Idaho Steelheads. The puck will drop at the Cow Palace at 7:30 PM.

SF Bulls Are Back, Moving Forward

By Mary Walsh

Seven players have returned to the San Francisco Bulls for a second season. Team Captain Scott Langdon, forward Kris Belan and defenseman Dylan King all signed again early in ECHL free agency. Last week, Dean Ouellet and Jordan Morrison returned from a stint in the Kazakh league to rejoin the Bulls. Christian Ouellet and Brett Findlay, rookies who impressed last season, are also back.  These players are not the only ones showing confidence in the San Francisco Bulls organization.

The San Jose Sharks renewed their affiliation with the Bulls in late August, but they had already given the organization a significant stamp of approval last season. They sent seven prospects to San Francisco from Worcester, including five skaters. This season, Bulls President and Head Coach Pat Curcio expects the Sharks to continue sending prospects to the ECHL:

We could have possibly ten guys from [the Sharks]. They signed a lot of players, and they signed them with the intention [that they will] have a place to put them. So our relationship’s been great and I’m real excited.

The Sharks are happy with the arrangement as well. In their August press release about the renewed affiliation, GM Doug Wilson explained: “We had an extremely positive relationship with the Bulls last season as a development vehicle for players within our system and we look forward to continuing that agreement.” -San Jose Sharks

Prior to their affiliation with the Bulls, the Sharks used the ECHL primarily for goaltender development. The Sharks have the option of using many places to develop players, including Canadian Junior leagues and university programs. The AHL has no cap and no roster limit, so in theory a team could use an AHL team to stash all their prospects without regard to whether there was room on the ice for them or not. Of course, that is not ideal. It is far better to have a pro hockey environment where your prospects can play a lot of minutes.

On the other hand, teams don’t want want to send young talent into a meat grinder. The ECHL is shedding a reputation for being a lawless slug-fest, and becoming a league where talent can be showcased and developed. That San Jose felt confident enough to send so many players to San Francisco in its first season speaks very well for the Bulls.

It also speaks well for the ECHL, as other NHL teams are also investing more talent in the Triple A league. The ECHL is an increasingly viable stepping stone in pro hockey development. In theory, this could also improve the level of play in the AHL, by giving less experienced players a different team to develop with. AHL players could come to the NHL more ready for having been in a system tailored to the needs of experienced prospects.

While the team has bolstered its connection to the AHL and the NHL, the Bulls still have a grass-roots element. In mid-September, the team held open tryouts. From that group, Anthony Taylor was chosen to participate in the team’s main training camp. He will also play in at least one pre-season game. The tryouts gave the Bulls a chance to scope out available talent that they might need through the season, as Curcio explains:

You’re going to need players that are readily available at the drop of a hat. If a player gets injured on a Thursday night and [someone] has to fly out Friday to Worcester or San Jose, it’s hard to find a player over night. You need some good players that are local.

The Bulls will play two pre-season games at the Cow Palace, on Thursday, October 10 and Saturday, October 12. Puck drop at 7:30 pm. Their regular season home opener will be on Friday, November 8 against the Bakersfield Condors.

Morrison and Ouellet back with the SF Bulls

By Kahlil Najar

SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Bulls announced today that forwards Jordan Morrison and Dean Ouellet have agreed to terms. Morrison and Ouellet join last season’s other core members, Scott Langdon, Kris Belan, Dylan King and Christian Ouellet.

“It’s great news for the organization and the fans to get Jordan and Dean back for this season,” said SF Bulls President and Head Coach Pat Curcio. “Their return from Kazakhstan shows their desire to reach the next level in North America. Dean is an all-star and Jordan is a proven leader.”

Calling Ouellet an All-Star isn’t just a euphemism, it’s a fact. Last year, Dean Ouellet was the lone Bulls player to represent San Francisco in the ECHL All-Star game. Jordan Morrison on the other hand, may not have been voted an All-Star but he was definitely deserving of the title. Not only did he contribute 16 goals and 25 assists but he was one of the key players to help get the Bulls into the first round of the playoffs. In the playoffs, Morrison played in all five games and had two goals an assist.

On returning to the Bay Area, both players are looking forward to being back and bring the same kind of intensity to the ice that they did last year.

Dean Oulette said, “Coming back to the Bulls this season feels really good. San Francisco is like a second home for me. It’s going to be a great season.”

“It’s good to see so many familiar faces back with the Bulls,” said Morrison. “San Francisco became a home away from home last season. There were great fans and it was a great city. I’m looking forward to a productive season and doing better than last year.”