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.