Bulls rally falls short, lose to Utah 5-2

Photo Credit: Josie Vimahi/Utah Grizzlies
Photo Credit: Josie Vimahi/Utah Grizzlies

By Kahlil Najar

West Valley City, Utah – The Utah Grizzlies (6-8-1-1) scored two goals in the second and three in the third and gave them a convincing 5-2 victory over the San Francisco Bulls (6-12-1-1). Tyler Gron, Jordan Morrison and Brett Findlay extended their four-game point streaks and J.P. Anderson stopped 35 of 39 shots on the night. The Utah defense was able to slow down the usually high shooting Bulls to only 25 shots on the night.

 

After a scoreless first, Kyle Bodie got the Bulls on the board when he beat Utah goalkeeper Igor Bobkov with a power play goal 4:21 into the second. Utah responded with a goal by Vinny Scarsella and a power play goal by Mathieu Aubin in the closing seconds of the second to make it 2-1 in favor of Utah.

In the third, Utah struck first when Aubin scored his second goal of the game with just 7:17 left in the third to give the Grizzlies a 2 point lead. The Bulls Brett Findlay scored a mere 26 seconds later to make it a one-goal deficit but then Utah scored two unanswered goals and made it a final of 5-2. The Bulls were out-shot by Utah 40-25.

The Bulls head to Ontario for a pair of games on Friday and Saturday.

Notes: Tyler Gron, Jordan Morrison and Brett Findlay have combined for 17 points over their four-game points-streak.The Bulls went 1-for-5 on the power play, while Utah was 1-for-4. J.P. Anderson’s 35 saves are a professional career high.

 

Bulls drop fifth straight lose 6-0

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By Kahlil Najar

SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Bulls can’t seem to figure out the Idaho Steelheads and goalie Pat Nagle. The Bulls took a season high 41 shots on goal but dropped their fifth straight game and lost to the Steelheads 6-0. The 41 shots on goal is one shot less than the franchise record set last year. The Bulls are now 0-2-1-1 against Idaho. With his 41 stops, Steelheads goalie Nagle earned his fourth win and first shutout of the year. The goose egg put up by the Bulls was their first shutout at home this season and the first time they haven’t scored a goal since November 6th against Ontario.

The Steelheads Anthony Nigro beat Tyler Beskorowany just 18 seconds into the game and gave Idaho the early 1-0 lead.

On the quick goal Bulls Head Coach Pat Curcio said, “He scored on a lucky bounce and it hit the shaft and went in. It’s hard to gain confidence when you have a goal go in like that.”

The Bulls played well after that goal and notched a season high 19 shots on goal in the first period. One of those shots was what looked like a goal by the Bulls Chris Crane but was waved off by the on-ice officials as the goal judge had lost sight of the puck.

‘The goal judge couldn’t see the puck so he blew the whistle. You’d think at home they’d turn the light on for you,” said Curcio.

“We’ve got to get to the net, we’ve got to stop at the crease and we have to pepper it on the goalie. We have to get in their face,” said right winger Chris Crane on the Bulls play through the first.

In the second, Idaho’s Patrick Cullity was streaking down the left side of the Bulls zone and found a open Mercier who was skating into the slot and smacked a one-timer that just beat Beskorowany’s outstretched left pad to make it 2-0.The third period saw a flurry of Idaho goals including a gut-wrenching shorthanded goal by Mercier that Curcio said was the killer and totally deflated the team. Brock Montgomery, William Rapuzzi, and Gaelan Peterson scored the remainder of the goals for Idaho and sealed the victory, 6-0.

“I don’t know what to tell these guys when you take 41 shots and probably over 20 scoring chances and you don’t score a goal, it’s pretty frustrating,” said Curcio. “If you don’t score and get momentum and get confidence then you’re in trouble.”

The Bulls head back on the ice tomorrow at the Cow Palace against the Utah Grizzlies. Curcio said, “We’ve got to find a way to win tomorrow. We’re going to stay positive and take shots on goal.”

Crane echoed coaches sentiments and said, “The most important thing is that we have to move on. You have to walk out of this rink and get a good nights sleep and recover. We have to come in tomorrow and take it to them. It’s our barn and that’s what we have to do.”

Game time is 7:30pm PST. The first 1,000 fans will receive a Bulls Cow Bell. In addition, the SF Firefighters Local 789 is hosting a Toy Drive. Each fan that donates a toy receives a “Buy One Get One Free” voucher for either the December 14 or December 17 game.

Bulls lose two in a row, defeated by Steelheads 3-1

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by Kahlil Najar

The Bulls (4-6-1-1) lost another tough game tonight to the Steelheads (6-4-1-1), 3-1. The lone goal by the Bulls came from Chris Crane who tipped the puck in on a power play. San Jose Sharks goalie prospect J.P. Anderson started for the Bulls tonight and handed 28 of 31 shots.

“He gives us a chance to win. He’s not doing anything wrong. To get his first pro win is going to be a grind. We’re going to get him more starts,” said Bulls Head Coach Pat Curcio on Anderson.

‘We made a couple mistakes there in the second, a few missed opportunities and hit the crossbar out. But when things don’t go your way you need your best players to go out there and score but they couldn’t find the back of the goal. We’re just missing the quarterback out there.”

In an eventful first period, the Bulls were able to score first when on a power play from a Tyler Gron hooking call Damon Kipp ripped a shot from the point that was deflected in by Right Winger Chris Crane for his third goal of the season. The Bulls were also able to kill off three penalties in the first which was impressive considering they are ranked last in the league in the penalty kill and Idaho is ranked fourth in the power play.

“Our best PK guys did a great job. But what hurt us in the end was that we were out of gas. Dean Ouellet and Mark Lee are playing power play and penalty kill but at the end of the day when you kill eight penalties it kills them. Our PK was doing the right things, picking up the right guys, staying square. We created the PK 10 Commandments and they followed them.”

There was a scary moment in the first when up-and-coming Bulls star Kyle Bigos took a puck to the face and fell immediately to the ice.

Curcio said “He took a puck to the mouth and it’s not pretty. He looks like The Joker right now and I think it affected his game tonight but he’ll be better tomorrow.

Both teams came out in the second with something to prove as total of seven penalties were called including a hard charging call against the Steelheads Mercier who knocked over Bull player as soon as the Steelheads goalie froze the puck.

After that charging call, Defenseman Patrick Cullity was called for hooking and gave the Bulls a 5 on 3 power play advantage. The Bulls were able to knock a shot towards the goal but came up empty and as time expired and brought both teams to even strength, Mercier was down in the Bulls zone and slid the puck past J.P. Anderson for Idaho’s first goal of the game and tie the game at one a piece. On the Bulls seventh penalty of the night, the Steelheads William Rapozzi was able to pop a nice shot over Anderson and give Idaho their first lead of the night, 2-1.

The third period started out quickly as both teams wanted to take control of the period as soon as possible and give their team the momentum. The Bulls and Steelheads traded shots and excellent chances on net but both goalies were able to turn away shot after shot. The Steelheads sealed the victory when Carl Sneep took a wicked shot from the top of the face off circle in the Bulls zone and made it a final of 3-1.

Without a goal tonight, Dean Ouellet’s scoring streak stops at three games and the Bulls home record comes to 2-2.

On a final note, Curcio said, “I love our team. I look down and its hard to make changes. I know we’re not as elite as other teams out there but I’d rather have the team tha’ts willing to work and go to war every night like this team.”

The Bulls head back at it tomorrow afternoon when they take on the second place team in the Western Conference the Ontario Reign. Game time 2:15pm.

Bulls Lose In Overtime to Steelheads 3-2

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By Kahlil Najar

BOISE, Idaho

The San Francisco Bulls lost a tough one to the Idaho Steelheads, 3-2, in overtime. Chris Crane and Dale Mitchell scored for the Bulls, while Tyler Beskorowany stopped 39 shots in the loss.

Both teams were quiet through two periods and waited until the third period to get themselves on the board. In the third period Idaho got a power-play goal from William Rapuzzi at 1:25. The Bulls answered back with a power-play goal of their own when Chris Cane took a shot from the faceoff circle at 8:25. Less than 5 minutes later, Dale Mitchell scored on a one-timer from the slot and made it a 2-1 lead for the Bulls. On another power play and with an empty net, Anthony Nigro found the back of the net with only 18.6 seconds left on the clock. In overtime, Nigro was the hero again as he put the puck past Beskorowany to give the Steelheads the victory.

The Bulls head to Utah to take on the Grizzlies this Friday at 6:05pm.