Barracuda Defeat Reign For First Home Win

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE– The San Jose Barracuda defeated the Ontario Reign 4-2 for their first home win of the season. San Jose goals were scored by John McCarthy, Mirco Mueller, Jeremy Langlois and Nikolay Goldobin. After a long break between games, the Barracuda were very well-rested. The last time San Jose played was October 24, and that was a 3-0 loss to the Reign in Ontario. The break gave them a chance to practice and made the win all the more important. After the game, Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer said: “It’s big for us. The mood of the practices, everything’s going to be upbeat, their Halloween party’s tonight. So they can go have some fun, we have a day off tomorrow so it fits in good.”

Of the time between games, Sommer said that they had made good use of it: “I thought they had a good week of practice… I thought they went hard and everything was about going to the net and that’s where our goals were from tonight.”

The Reign were far from well-rested. Sunday’s game was their third in three days. The fatigue factor was something the Barracuda knew they should take advantage of. After the game, San Jose forward John McCarthy said:

They had a tough weekend, a lot of travel and we talked about kind of taking advantage of that in the first period, coming out… Because we know how it feels to be that team on the road. You come in after a long road trip and when a team’s all over you right away, it messes with your head.

Aaron Dell was in net for the Barracuda, with Peter Budaj at the other end for the Reign. Ontario has opted to use veteran goaltenders this season, with NHL veterans Budaj and Ray Emery playing as a tandem.

John McCarthy started the scoring for San Jose, 2:45 into the first period. Three Barracuda entered the Reign zone, with just two Ontario players defending. McCarthy went to the net and Trevor Parkes got the puck to him with a pass from the boards. Assists went to Parkes and Nikolay Goldobin.

The Barracuda also got the first power play, 7:44 into the period. Michael Mersch, Ontario’s leading goal scorer, went to the box for tripping. Just before that penalty expired, Nikita Jevpalovs went to the box for high-sticking. With 30 seconds left in the penalty, Mersch tied it up for the Reign. Assists went to Sean Backman (the Reign’s points leader) and Valentin Zykov.

Jevpalovs also took the Barracuda’s second penalty, this time it was hooking at 12:47.

The Barracuda were trailing by three shots at the end of the first period, and by the middle of the second they had only added four. The second period was far from shot-heavy, with the Reign only taking three by the ten minute mark. No penalties were called until the fourteen minute mark. The call was for holding and it went to Ontario’s Vincent LoVerde.

It only took Mirco Mueller four seconds to put a shot on net from the blue line. His shot went between two Barracuda skaters as they passed in front of the net and gave the Barracuda the lead. An assist went to Scott Timmins. It was the first goal from a Barracuda defenseman.

The Reign took the goal right back. Justin Auger won the puck behind the net and tried to wrap it around with a backhand. When that did not work, Ryan Horvat picked up the rebound and tossed the puck between Dell’s shoulder and the post. Dell’s vision was obstructed by his own defender and also Auger so he really did not have a chance. Assists went to Auger and Jonny Brodzinski.

The Barracuda had another power play chance at 15:34, when MacDermid went to the box for cross-checking. Nothing came of that, and the Barracuda shortly found themselves on the penalty kill when Patrick McNally went for hooking. That Reign power play did not last long, because Nic Dowd shoved Timmins face first into the glass. That evened the numbers up and put Dowd in the box for boarding.

The period closed with the teams tied at 2, and the Reign leading in shots 22-19.

The third period started with the teams playing four on four for a minute and one second. A 32 second power play for San Jose followed but did not produce a goal.

One of the Barracuda’s better chances came when Karl Stollery found himself in the slot with a clear view of the net. Unfortunately for him, his stick broke and the shot went wide. Seven minutes in and the Barracuda were keeping the Reign on their heels but Budaj was alert and preserved the tie with several saves.

The Barracuda were back on the power play at 9:38 to go, when Ontario’s LoVerde went for hooking. The resulting power play did not start especially well. The Barracuda spent several seconds chasing down the puck in their own zone and keeping it away from attacking penalty killers. The rest of the power play was broken up by stoppages and clears that limited scoring chances.

More four on four play commenced at 12:02 when Jordan Samuels-Thomas and Julius Bergman sat for two minutes. Samuels-Thomas was sent away for embellishment, while Bergman did time for tripping. Neither team profited from the penalties.

Back at even strength, San Jose’s Joakim Ryan escaped an attacking Ontario player in the Barracuda zone, then took the puck all the way to Reign territory. With Ontario defenders closing on him, he used a backhand pass to give the puck to Jeremy Langlois. Langlois carried it around behind the net before scoring with a wrap around.

Another four on four session began when Mirco Mueller and Ryan Horvat were confined with matching roughing minors. Neither team scored.

The Reign pulled their goalie in the final two minutes and it took the Barracuda nearly a minute to clear the puck out. Nikolay Goldobin followed it out and scored an empty-netter. Assists went to McCarthy and Peter Emanuelsson. With that goal and his assist, Goldobin had his first two points of the season in one game.

Final score: 4-2 Barracuda.

No Barracuda had more than three shots, but four had three: McCarthy, Ryan Carpenter, Patrick McNally and Goldobin. For Ontario, Mersch led in shots with six. San Jose’s Aaron Dell made 32 saves on 34 shots, while Peter Budaj made 25 saves on 28 shots.

The Barracuda next play on Saturday, November 7th against the San Diego Gulls in San Jose at 1:15 PT.

Bulls Comeback Falls Short, Lose 3-2

Photo Courtesy Ontario Reign
Photo Courtesy Ontario Reign

By Kahlil Najar

ONTARIO – The San Francisco Bulls (12-17-4-1) scored late in the third to tie the game at the end of regulation but lost to the Ontario Reign (26-5-1-3) on a Gasper Kopitar goal in the extra period to fall 3-2.

The Bulls got on the board first when Collin Bowman took a shot that bounced off the pads of Ontario goalie Michal Hutchinson and landed on the stick of Luke Judson who smashed it home for his third goal of the season. In the closing minute of the first period, the Reign’s Mario Lamoureux was able to push the pack through the Bulls crease and tie the game at 1 after 20 minutes of play. The second period saw both teams take 10 shots and not come up with any points.

At 6:15 of the third period, Cody Sol zipped a one-timer from the top of the right circle that beat Besko and gave Ontario a 2-1 lead. Bulls Captain Scott Langdon tied the game at 2 with 3:58 left in the game and sent the game into overtime.

In the overtime period, Matt White and Kopitar jumped on a two-on-one rush into the Bulls zone and White tapped a pass over to Kopitar who beat Besko for his first pro goal of his career and seal the victory for the Reign.

The Bulls head home for a three-game set against the Alaska Aces starting this Thursday at 7:30pm.

Bulls Handle The Wranglers 6-2

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By Kahlil Najar

LAS VEGAS – The San Francisco Bulls (8-12-2-1) won two out of three games this weekend with an amazing 6-2 win over the Las Vegas Wranglers (7-12-1-0). Brett Findlay and Tyler Gron provided much of the offense for the Bulls as they contributed a total of five points on the night. With Gron’s points tonight he extended his point streak to eight games. Goalie Tyler Beskorowany stopped 29 of 31 shots and earned his seventh win of the season.

The Bulls opened up scoring with a power play goal from right winger Chris Crane less than seven minutes into the contest on a nice feed from Brett Findlay. Tyler Gron took a bullet of a shot past Wrangler goalie Mitch O’Keefe with 7:48 remaining in the first period and gave the Bulls a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. The Bulls scored two more unanswered goals in the second from Findlay and Foster and made it a 4-0 lead for the Bulls going into the third. Findlay was able to maneuver himself in front of the goal for his score and Foster beat O’Keefe when both teams were playing four-on-four hockey.

The Wranglers cut the lead in half in the third when Matt Tassone and Eddie DelGrosso scored back-to-back goals for Las Vegas but Dylan King and Dale Mitchell answered with their own back-to-back goals and gave the Bulls a 6-2 victory.

The Bulls return home Friday the 13th  with a game against the Ontario Reign.

Bulls Fall In Overtime To The Reign 3-2

Photo Courtesy of the SF Bulls
Photo Courtesy of the SF Bulls

By Kahlil Najar

 

The San Francisco Bulls (7-12-2-2) lost a tough one in overtime to the Ontario Reign (15-3-1-3), 3-2. Dale Mitchell, who just returned to the ice yesterday tied the game up in the third to force overtime however the Reign’s Matt Register scored in the extra period to squash a Bulls sweep on the weekend. Tyler Gron is proving to be a superstar on the team as he continued his point streak to seven games with a goal and an assist.

At 12:08 of the first period, Mario Lamoureux was able to snap a short shot past J.P. Anderson and give the Reign a 1-0 lead. Matt Register and Derek Couture earned assists on the goal. Tyler Gron and the Bulls responded with 3:14 left in the first when on a power play he was able to flip a rebound off of Hutchinson into the back of the goal and tie the game at one a piece.

Ontario was given a two-man advantage and Derek Couture received a nice pass from Jake Newton and got a shot past Anderson from the bottom of the left circle and make it a 2-1 lead after two periods. The Bulls had only shot 14 times in the first two periods while the Reign had 30.

The Bulls were on a four-minute power play after a double minor to the Reign and Dale Mitchell was able to backhand rebound past Hutchinson’s blocker to tie the game 2-2.

In overtime, Register scored at 3:24 to give Ontario the 3-2 victory.

The Bulls travel to Las Vegas to face the Wranglers tomorrow for a 2:05 pm start.

Bulls beat first place Reign 4-1

Photo Courtesy SFBulls
Photo Courtesy SFBulls

By Kahlil Najar

ONTARIO – Scott Langdon scored twice and Tyler Beskorowany made 42 saves to help lead the San Francisco Bulls (7-12-1-1) to a 4-1 victory over the first place Ontario Reign (14-3-1-3). Tyler Gron extended his point streak to six games with a goal, while Jordan Morrison  and Brett Findlay also extended their point streaks to five games.

Spark plug Dale Mitchell returned for the first time since a back injury in early November and grab himself a goal early in the first period. Langdon followed up with his first goal of the night just 48 seconds later on a beautiful wraparound goal that he was able to stuff by Ontario goalie Hutchinson and give the Bulls a 2-0 lead.

After the first intermission, Langdon stormed back onto the ice and was able to shoot a blast from the point with only 44 seconds gone and gave the Bulls a 3-0 lead. The Reign got their first goal of the night on a laser shot from Matt Register from the point that somehow made it’s way through traffic and beat Besko.

With a little less than 10 minutes gone in the third, Tyler Gron was able to be Hutchinson and bring us to the final score of 4-1.

The Bulls face the Reign again Saturday night for a 6 p.m.

Bulls losing streak builds to three, Reign win 3-1

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By Kahlil Najar

SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Bulls (4-7-1-1) lost to the Ontario Reign (9-1-1-3) 3-1 which brings their losing streak to three games. Sunday afternoon at the Cow Palace. The Bulls took a season high 9 shots on goal but were only able to find the back of the goal once by Chris Crane.

“Our five-on-five hockey, we’re exactly what we want to be. A blue collar, hard-working team. I feel like right now we’re just struggling to score. It’s been our story all year. I feel like we’re doing everything we’re supposed to do. It’s our special teams, if we could get one more power play goal and prevent one more goal against on the penalty kill,” said Head Coach Pat Curcio on the teams struggles.

The Ontario Reign got on the board first when Dan DaSilva was able to strip the puck from the Bulls and managed to get the puck past Tyler Beskorowany for a shorthanded goal and make it a 1-0 Ontario lead.

The second period saw a total of 17 penalties which led to a lot of 5-on-3 and 4-on-4 opportunities for each team and Ontario was able to capitalize. On a 5-on-3 power play, Cameron Burt smacked a one-timer from the blue line that beat Tyler Beskorowany and brought the Ontario lead to two.

The Bulls struck back in the third when Chris Crane as able to shove the puck home after a Mark Lee shot from the point was turned away. Dean Ouellet, who was held pointless in yesterday’s game earned an assist and brought his point total to six on the year. Ontario’s Adrian Van de Mosselaer scored the insurance goal with 9:58 remaining in regulation and sealed the Bulls three game losing streak.

The Bulls next take on the Stockton Thunder at Stockton Arena on Wednesday at 7 pm.

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.