Bulls Score Three In Third, Down Thunder 4-2

Photo Courtesy Stockton Thunder
Photo Courtesy Stockton Thunder

By Kahlil Najar

STOCKTON – The San Francisco Bulls (12-16-3-1) scored three goals in the third and came back to beat the Stockton Thunder (16-11-0-4) 4-2. Tyler Gron and Eriks Sevcenko each scored a pair of goals and Steven Tarasuk contributed with a goal of his own. Tyler Beskorowany turned away 15 shots in the first and 15 over the next two periods to earn his eleventh win of the season.

Tyler Gron got the Bulls on the board first when he was able to beat Thunder goalie Brian Foster with 4:02 remaining in the first. Gron’s goals was his 13th of the season and the assists went to Eriks Sevecenko and Brett Findlay. Less than three minutes later, the Thunder tied the game up when Matt Bergland was able to beat Besko on a nice shot from the slot.

Neither team scored in the second and it seemed like the Bulls saved it all up for the third. Sevcenko, who was playing in his first game in the ECHL, scored his first career goals within a few minutes of each other on back to back penalties to the Thunder. The first goal came on a too many men on the ice penalty and the second came on a slashing penalty. The Bulls were up 3-1 with under 6 minutes left in the game when the Thunders Landon Oslanski brought it to a one goal lead again for the Bulls. However with 53 seconds left in the game, Dean Ouellet fed Tyler Gron for an empty netter and sealed the victory for the Bulls with a final score of 4-2.

The Bulls finish up their five-game series against the Thunder at home tomorrow at 7:30pm.

Sharks Should Decide Who’s on Fourth

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks are making a splendid start to the season. Despite having their lineup tinkered with by suspension and injury, they keep winning. The only voluntary lineup change they have made from game to game is to their fourth line. There the change has been regular and radical. Matt Pelech and John McCarthy are completely different quantities, one known for fighting and toughness, the other known for tenacity and scoring. Both reputations have been developed primarily in the AHL, over the course of multiple seasons. The Sharks organization knows both players well. Did Pelech move himself up the depth chart, securely ahead of McCarthy by scoring a goal? Possibly, but if anyone believes Pelech will keep doing that they are likely to be disappointed.

Pelech was assigned to the ECHL’s SF Bulls early this season. He was then quickly reassigned to Worcester. After McCarthy’s second NHL game this season, he also spent a day as a Bull before going back to Worcester, while Pelech was recalled. Assigning Pelech and McCarthy to the Sharks’ ECHL affiliate looks like an attempt to keep them nearby for easy recall, while minimizing disruption to the start of Worcester’s season. But so far, they haven’t stayed in San Francisco. They were both reassigned to Worcester anyway.

Todd McLellan has said in the past that he likes to keep options open, use different lineups for different opponents. Is tailoring the fourth line really more important than giving the line time to gel? Five games in to the season, with the other three lines performing so well, why not pick a fourth line and stick with it for a bit?

Did McLellan want Pelech for the game in Vancouver, to give the Canucks pause if they were considering paying special attention to Tomas Hertl? While Pelech’s presence didn’t stop anyone from hitting Hertl, he did score a goal. That is always a good thing to do. Pelech’s goal was timely for him in that respect. There might be more to him than meets the eye.

In today’s NHL, the presence of one known enforcer in your lineup won’t do much to keep anyone from taking a run at someone. It only makes sense that the team should want a fourth line that manages the puck well, executes plays, shoots with some conviction, and basically looks a lot like a third line. So which player, Pelech or McCarthy, fits that role best? They aren’t unknown quantities to the coaching staff. The argument that the season is still young and the coaches need to get to know the players does not apply here.

Perhaps the old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” does apply. An unfixed lineup could be what McLellan wants. After all, the team is winning.

Czinder and Findlay return to Bulls, top prospect Chiasson signs

By Kahlil Najar

SAN FRANCISCO– The San Francisco Bulls Professional Hockey Team announced today that forwards Brett Findlay, Nick Czinder and Paul Chiasson have agreed to terms. Nick Czinder and Brett Findlay are returning from last years Bulls roster while Paul Chiasson is entering his first year in professional hockey.

At 6-foot, 5-inches and 230-pounds Nick Czinder provided the much needed intimidation factor last year after the Bulls had traded away the feisty Jordan Clendenning to Utah. Although he didn’t contribute much in the way of points (2 goals, 1 assist) he did add some tenacious defense to the Bulls and was always around the puck on offense and defense.

Brett Findley who also joined the Bulls late last year rejoins the team and is a welcome sign to the offensive side of the ice. In six games last year he was able to notch three assists but during the Bulls first ever playoff run, we was able to get two assists against the number one seeded Alaska Aces.

Of the returning player, head coach Pat Curcio said “Nick is a big physical player with skill, we saw it in his brief stint with the team last season. Brett is a very skilled and smart player, with his skills he has the ability to play at the next level.”

Paul Chiasson who enters his first season of professional hockey after four years at Mercyhurst College comes in with some great numbers a some confidence from Curcio. “Paul is a very fast tenacious right winger,” said Curcio. “He shoots the puck well in stride and has always scored a lot of goals.” Chiasson totaled 109 points (55 goals, 54 assists) in 151 games with Mercyhurst College.

The Bulls have open tryouts the weekend of September 14th at the Cow Palace and open the season in Alaska on October 18th.