Bulls Give Up Four Early And Lose To Thunder 5-1

Photo Courtesy SFBulls
Photo Courtesy SFBulls

By Kahlil Najar

STOCKTON – The San Francisco Bulls (11-16-3-1) were defeated by the Stockton Thunder (16-10-0-4), 5-1 in the Bulls last game of 2013.  The Bulls gave up four goals in the first and one in the third and were only able to nab one goal in the second from Tyler Gron who scored his 15th goal of the year.

The Bulls and Thunder condensed enough action for one game into the first 20 minutes of play. The four goals secured by the Thunder’s Matt Bergland, James Henry, Mike Dalhuisen, and Nick Larson were accompanied by three fights from the Bulls Scott Langdon, Steven Tarasuk and Kris Belan. Berglan scored early in the period to give Stockton the 1-0 lead and then at 14:35 the Thunder scored three unanswered goals over the next 3:04.
Head Coach of the Bulls had seen enough after the fourth goal that he pulled regular starter Tyler Beskorowany and put in back-up goalie J.P. Anderson.

In the second, the Bulls leading scorer Tyler Gron received a nice pass from Adrian Foster and beat Parker Milner and brought the deficit to only three goals.

The Thunder sealed the victory in the third when Oslanki beat Anderson and slammed the door shut on scoring for the night and give the game its 5-1 finale.

The Bulls continue this rivalry into the New Year when they face Stockton again this Friday at 7:30pm in Stockton.

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.

Cal’s Wallace shot on in season-opening win over Coppin St.

By Morris Phillips

Among Mike Montgomery’s mix of veterans and greenhorns, sophomore Tyrone Wallace may possess the greatest potential for growth.  In the season-opener on Friday, it appeared Wallace may be ready to realize that potential.

Wallace collected 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds in Cal’s 83-64 win over Coppin State at Haas Pavilion.   The still rail-thin swingman looked much improved from his up-and-down freshman campaign in which he played in every game, and started 20 times, but shot just 34 percent, including just 22 percent from three.

“Basketball, 24-7, this off-season,” Wallace said when asked about the growth in his game.  “All the work I put in is really translating over to games and I am really confident right now in my shot.”

Wallace knocked down half of his 14 shots, including three of six three-point attempts on his way to leading the Bears in scoring.  Cal depended on heavily on its starters in dispatching the Eagles, playing them extensively in a first half in which the Bears established a 15-point, halftime lead.  Cal’s shooting and wow-factor improved in the second half as high-flying freshman Jabari Bird put his imprint on the game.

Justin Cobbs added 16 points and six rebounds, and Bird chipped in 14 points and seven rebounds.  Coppin State was led by Sterling Smith with 16 points and Arnold Fripp with 10.

The Bears have won all six of their season openers under Coach Montgomery and are attempting to make a fifth NCAA appearance under the watch of the veteran coach.

“There were a lot of bright spots,” Montgomery said.  “We had some really good individual performances…  I thought we lost our attention span defensively a little bit.  There was probably a point in time where we didn’t feel threatened so we didn’t play quite as hard defensively.”

The Bears are picked in the middle of a crowded Pac-12 conference race, primarily because the eight newcomers outnumber the five returners.  Wallace stands out because he’s not quite a veteran, but with 21 starts under his belt, experienced enough to know what Montgomery demands at both ends of the floor.  The Bakersfield native became a natural at the defensive end, but given his statistics, he could make a great deal of growth on offense.  Friday all that was apparent as Wallace knocked down open shots and found his teammates when appropriate.

According to Coppin State Coach Ron “Fang” Mitchell, the Bears offensive versatility gave his Eagles fits, as much as their lack of size made them vulnerable to the Bears in the paint.

“They shot the threes, made us extend a lot more, and then they started taking it in,” Mitchell said. “They did a tremendous job.”

The Bears host familiar opponent Denver on Tuesday in the continuation of a four-game homestand.  Cal may not get its first real test until Thanksgiving when the Bears travel to Maui and open the tournament there against Arkansas.