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.

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.

Aces Shut the Bulls Down 5-0

By Mary Walsh

ANCHORAGE- The Alaska Aces made the San Francisco Bulls pay dearly for ruining their home opener, beating the Bulls 5-0 on Saturday. It is hard to tell from the score, but the Bulls did show signs that they were working better as a team, leaving fewer gaping holes on defense.

The Bulls went in to their second game in Alaska without Dean Ouellet, who was described as having a non-specific upper body injury. If the team was thrown by that development, it didn’t show as they started the game with more composure in the defensive zone than they displayed in the first game. Despite taking too many penalties and giving up more goals than in the previous game, the team actually had more chances and showed signs of improvement.

San Francisco looked sharp to start the game. Things looked bright when Dale Mitchell had a great opportunity on a breakaway. Aces goaltender Joni Ortio was ready for him and thwarted the Bulls’ best chance to take an early lead.

A lapse in defensive focus gave the Aces a 3 on 2 and the 1-0 lead at 10:01 of the first. The goal was scored by Jordan Kremyr, with assists to Dustin Molle and Tommy Mele. That goal took the wind out of the Bulls and they too much time trapped in their own zone. They finished the period credited with only two shots on goal to Alaska’s 17.

The second period got interesting quickly when Dylan King took a boarding penalty while the Bulls were already killing Luke Judson‘s hooking penalty. Kris BelanScott Langdon and Kyle Bigos valiantly killed off a 5 on 3 that lasted for over a minute. Judson came out of the box at the end of his penalty and helped them clear the zone. The Bulls killed off the rest of the penalty and within a couple of shifts seemed invigorated by that success.

Defenseman Kyle Bigos was assigned to the Bulls by the AHL Worcester Sharks. He was conspicuous during the troubled second period, making a number of critical interceptions and clears for his team. Bulls goaltender Tyler Beskorowany doesn’t leave a lot of dangerous rebounds but it was a good sign that Bulls skaters were there to clean them up anyway.

The Bulls were taking too many penalties in the period, and it cost them when the Aces scored on their third power play of the period. That power play goal scored by Evan Trupp, with assists to Peter Sivak and Zach Davies.

Ironically, the Bulls more than doubled their first period shot total during the first half of the second period. They finally earned a power play at 11:58 of the period. It did not start out well as the Bulls let Aces center Nick Mazzolini break the other way unfettered. Narrowly escaping another goal against, the Bulls held the zone for the rest of the power play. They came close but lacked polish and didn’t score. Less than two minutes later, the Bulls were on the penalty kill again, this time with Jordan Morrison in the box. The Bulls killed off the penalty and responded with some good offensive rushes. Still they didn’t score and by the end of the period it was evident that they’d spent too much time short-handed. They had lost a step, but they had also outshot the Aces 8-6 in the period.

The Aces jumped into the third period with an early goal, a second for Evan Trupp off a cross-crease pass from Peter Sivak. As if killing penalties were the Bulls’ theme of the night, Mark Lee went to the box at 4:51 for cross-checking. Before that ended, Brett Parnham was called for the same and the Bulls were down two men. The team survived that but did not make it through their next penalty, Alaska’s seventh power play of the game. That put the Bulls in a 4-0 hole. Alaska’s fourth goal was scored by B.J. Crum, with assists to Sivak and Mazzolini.

A power play at 10:20 of the third gave the Bulls some energy. Alaska seemed to sit back on their four goal lead, still able to frustrate the Bulls’ offense. In the last two minutes of the game, Zach Davies took advantage of Scott Langdon’s errant pass up the boards and scored the Aces’ fifth goal.

The Bulls finished the game on the penalty kill. Sullivan Arena played “All By Myself” while Chris Crane went to the box. To make matters worse, the refs gave Crane four minutes for his high stick.

Scoring summary: Alaska: Jordan Kremyr (Molle, Mele) 11:59, Evan Trupp(PPG, Sivak, Davies) 9:57, Trupp (Sivak, Mazzolini) 1:47, B.J. Crum (PPG Sivak, Mazzolini) 7:55, Zach Davies (Sivak) 18:02. Alaska killed 3 of 3 penalties. Joni Ortio made 17 saves for the win. 

San Francisco killed 7 of 9 penalties and Tyler Beskorowany made 34 saves on 39 shots for San Francisco.

The Bulls play next in Idaho, on Wednesday at 6:10 PT. Listen on KNBR.com or watch on AmericaOneSports.com. The team’s full schedule can be found on their website.