49ers’ list of problems grow in loss to the Colts

iBy Morris Phillips

Unlike their trip to Seattle, getting pushed around for four quarters was just one of the 49ers’ problems on Sunday.

Losing troubled, defensive standout Aldon Smith indefinitely, scoring just 10 points in their last eight quarters, and the growing distance between the team and a return trip to the Super Bowl would be other major issues the reigning NFC Champs didn’t see themselves dealing with following a 27-7 loss to the Colts, and the first ever back-to-back losses under Coach Jim Harbaugh.

But deal with them they must with another critical football game coming up Thursday night in St. Louis.

“Haven’t been getting those drives, making those big plays. Too many three-and-outs,” Frank Gore said of the 49ers. “We aren’t getting those types of rhythms.”

“There wasn’t enough opportunity to make plays,” Harbaugh said. “It was a combination of that. Not having, the players not having the opportunity to make them and not making them.”

In fact, encouraging signs following the thrashing at Candlestick may total just one: Gore looked like his old self, gaining 82 yards on 11 carries. Given that, the 49ers managed just six first downs via the run, and quarterback Colin Kaepernick looked anything but poised, completing less than half of his 27 pass attempts and getting sacked three times.

If the evaluation of a Super Bowl team starts with a roll call of its super players, then the 49ers are going to have to get their bull horn fixed: Vernon Davis has an injured hamstring and didn’t play, Patrick Willis looked ordinary coming in and left in the third quarter with a groin injury, Gore was present, but not a difference maker, Justin Smith needed help, Kaepernick couldn’t make plays downfield, and Aldon Smith could miss at least a month to deal with substance abuse issues.

Worse yet, coming in all the performance-inhibiting issues seemed to be saddling the Colts. The AFC South champs were without six starters, hadn’t protected franchise quarterback Andrew Luck in either of the first two games, and were attempting to break in newly acquired running back Trent Richardson on the fly.

But after the 49ers’ defense committed penalties on the first two plays of the afternoon, Indianapolis marched right down the field and Richardson found himself in the end zone on his first carry as a Colt less than four minutes in.

By the fourth quarter, the 49ers’ defense caved in, allowing two Indianapolis touchdowns in a game that was still winnable with the team trailing just 13-7. Ahmad Bradshaw—the guy the Colts thought they had to replace with Richardson—tore up the 49ers with 95 yards rushing on 19 carries, even better than his performance against the supposedly staunch San Francisco run defense in the NFC Championship game two seasons ago.

Maybe most telling, the 49ers have won just five of their last nine games—after winning 23 of 32 under Harbaugh—and don’t look nearly as imposing as they did in Week 1 against Green Bay or as dominant as they did last year near mid-season. The seven turnovers surrendered over the last two weeks have been an issue, but maybe not as a big an issue as the team’s mediocre play.

Think things don’t change overnight in the NFL? Think again: the Redskins and Steelers are 0-3, Giants, Falcons and Packers are 1-2 and the Dolphins are undefeated at 3-0. If you’re the 49ers, change is bad and not making plays is worse.

The ball is still in the 49ers court, but they’ll need to find answers before challenging the Rams on Thursday in St. Louis.

Back to back AL West Champions!

By Emily Zahner

 

OAKLAND, CA—The Oakland Athletics (93-63) didn’t need 9 innings for a reason to celebrate, all it took was three. With their magic number down to one, Oakland needed to either defeat the Minnesota Twins (65-90) this afternoon, or see Texas lose. Halfway through the top of the third, cheers started to erupt throughout the stadium, and yet the out of town scoreboard still read the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals were locked in a 0-0 tie in the 10th. After Sonny Gray surrendered a 3-run homerun by Oswaldo Arcia, the A’s finally got out of the inning. That was when a replay was shown of KC’s Justin Maxwell, with two outs in the 10th, crushing a grand slam that instantly sent the A’s into the post season. Once again, at the expense of the Texas Rangers, the A’s would be crowned the American League West Champions.

Not that the A’s needed the Royals help anyway… Oakland erupted for six runs in the 2nd inning, and then added one more in each of the next five innings. The A’s celebrated their division title on the back of a four-game sweep by means of an 11-7 rout of the Twins. Oakland starter Sonny Gray became the youngest pitcher in A’s history to win a division clinching game at the young age of 23. Gray was elated, “this is the best baseball day of my life… today is a very exciting day.” Even though they all knew their fate in the third, Sonny was determined, saying he knew something had happened in the Texas game, but still had a game to win.  Gray did struggle a bit, giving up four earned runs on seven hits through five innings pitched, but with the offensive tear his team appears to be on lately, it didn’t even matter. Gray isn’t worried about where he will land on the post season roster, just as long as he is a part of the team.

After tonight’s game, the A’s finish off the regular season with a three game series in Anaheim, followed by a three game set in Seattle. From here on out, the A’s will be focused on the post season. A’s manager Bob Melvin is ready, saying “we’ve got some unfinished business going forward… we’re going to enjoy today and look forward to tomorrow”. He has extreme confidence in his squad, “this is an unselfish group that just wants to win.” The players themselves are ready, Australian closer Grant Balfour said “we know how to play and we know how to win”.

Not only did the A’s clinch the West today, but Coco Crisp made history as well. In the 6th inning, after Eric Sogard reached first on a single, Coco walked. The two initiated a double steal, and Coco became only the 10th player in Oakland history to have a 20 homerun-20 stolen base year. Players all through the lineup stepped up huge today. In the 7th spot, Daric Barton went 3-3 with a walk; just a triple short of the cycle. Homeruns were a plenty today, and Oakland saw bombs from Crisp, Barton, and Jed Lowrie. Barton has made a huge impact since being called up from Triple A Sacramento on August 24th, and Melvin is taking notice, “I don’t see how Barton could not be on the post season roster”.

This marks the second consecutive and 16th overall AL West Division title for the Oakland Athletics. If the standings hold, the A’s will most likely face the Detroit Tigers once again in the ALDS. With the way this team has been playing, they’re ready for anyone.

 

Game Notes: Josh Donaldson has reached base safely via hit or walk in 27 consecutive games. Oakland has reached a season high of 30 games over .500. Josh Reddick had two outfield assists today, doubling off Brian Dozier in the 7th and Oswaldo Arcia in the 9th.

A’s bury Twins, 11-0; magic number is now 2

By George Devine, Sr.

Friday, September 20, 2013

A sellout crowd which included a thousand SRO customers packed the O.co Coliseum to see fireworks. They didn’t have to wait until the end of the game, or even until the end of the fifth inning, as the A’s exploded for an 11-0 shutout of the visiting Minnesota Twins. This win, coupled with the Texas Rangers’ loss to Kansas City, reduced to 2 the magic number for Oakland to clinch the AL Western Division, which they could do against the Twins at home in either of two remaining games in the present series.

Yoenis Cespedes hit his 25th homer of 2013 to left center field in the home second. Then Derek Norris doubled to right and scored when Josh Reddick singled towards second, coming home himself when Daric Barton singled to right. In the fourth, Norris singled to center, stole second with Alberto Callaspo batting, reached third on a throwing error by catcher Chris Herrmann and scored when Callaspo singled to left.

In the fifth, Oakland tore the Twins apart. Josh Donaldson walked,and advanced as Jed Lowrie singled to center. Norris was hit by a pitch thrown by Minnesota starter Andrew Albers, moving Donaldson to third and Lowrie to second. Chris Young reached first o n a throwing error by third baseman Eduardo Escobar which allowed Donaldson, Lowrie and Norris all to score. Callaspo singled to right, plating Young, then reached third when Reddick singled to center. With Barton at bat, reliever Ryan Pressley’s wild pitch allowed Callaspo to come home. In the next inning, the home team added two more runs as Crisp walked and then came home on Josh Donaldson’s homer to left center, his 24th of the season.

Albers takes the loss (2-4; 4.2 ip, 8 h, 8 r, 3 er, 1 w, 2 k, 1 h, 1 hb) and Bartolo Colon is the winner (17-6; 6 ip, 5 h, 1 w, 8 k). The two teams meet again at 1:05 p.m. PDT on Saturday, September 21, with Jarrod Parker (11-7) facing southpaw Pedro Hernandez (3-1).OAKLAND ATHLETICS VS. MINNESTOTA TWINS

Sharks lose in Overtime; Raffi Torres Hurt

By: Phillip Torres

SAN JOSE- The San Jose Sharks hosted the Anaheim Ducks at the SAP Canter in San Jose on Friday night for the Sharks first home preseason exhibition game. The Sharks lost a heart breaker in overtime 3-2 when Ducks Defenseman Ben Lovejoy found the back of the net after less than three minutes of play into the extra period.

The loss for the Sharks might not be as bad as the news that left winger Raffi Torres was banged up on a collision in the second period. Raffi Torres and Ducks forward Emerson Etem collided hard and both men spent an extended amount of time on the ice. Etem was able to come back later on in the period however Torres did not return for the rest of the game.

“He’s being checked by the medical staff, and when we know something, we’ll let you know,” said head coach Todd McLellan. “It’s obviously not a good situation for either player, Etem or Torres. A complete accident, too. We hope they’ll both be well and ready to play.”

Tomas Hertl started the scoring early for San Jose with a goal at 14:42 in the opening period. The assists were earned by Adam Burish and Captain Joe Thronton. The Ducks tied the score at 1-1 with a goal from Emerson Etem. The goal was assisted from teammates Devante Smith-Pelly and Daniel Winnik.

San Jose regained the lead shortly after with a goal from Tyler Kennedy. Kennedy scored on a short-handed two-on-one with the assist handled by Patrick Marleau. Corey Perry tied the game up again for the Ducks late in the period. with assits from Captain Ryan Getzlaf and Patrick Maroon, Anaheim was back into the game. The third period was scoreless and at regulation the score was 2-2. Ben Lovejoy won the game in overtime for the Ducks and ended the Sharks night.

On the loss, McLellan said, “I thought that our team forgot a little bit how hard it was to play and how you have to make hard, firm plays and move the puck quick. We weren’t as good as we needed to be, but it’s something we can work off of.”

The Sharks continue the preseason at home Saturday night against the Phoenix Coyotes at 7:30pm.Sharks Lose To Ducks

Phillip Torres covers the San Jose Sharks for Sportsradioservice.com

Sewage back up talk takes front and center over A’s success

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary

OAKLAND–A’s owner Lew Wolf says it’s the fans fault that things are depressing at the Coliseum according to one AP report and to add insult upon injury the A’s dugout toilet backed up on Tuesday night’s game which took much of the attention away from the game. A few weeks ago when the Tampa Bay Rays were in town their starter Fernando Rodney was in the bathroom in the Rays dugout and he was going to warm up and he locked himself out and he couldn’t get out of the bathroom dugout and it took 20 minutes for a maintenance guy to come out and rescue Rodney.

Rodney couldn’t even come out and warm up but Joe Maddon the Rays manager had a great sense of humor at the time saying, “the way he was pitching let him stay in the bathroom” this is an embarrassing place not just for the A’s but for Major League Baseball. It’s just not for the A’s but they play somebody else like the visitors who come into the Coliseum, it’s embarrassing for everybody in the American League because you play every team this is not only embarrassing for the A’s but it’s embarrassing for the game. Then Lew Wolf is saying the reason why it’s depressing at the Coliseum is because of the fans, it’s getting embarrassing for the A’s off the field but they’re winning where it counts on the field.

Bob Melvin & A’s leaving A.L. West in the dust: A’s manager Bob Melvin could win the manager of the year he’s really done a marvelous job for this team this is not that much of a talented team it’s just a bunch of kids who are hustling Yoenis Cespedes hasn’t had a great season, Josh Reddick has been hurt most of the year, so Melvin deserves a lot of credit the A’s are eventually going to win this division as they have a 6.5 game lead with about 11 games left their going to win it.

Things have been great for the A’s, the attendance has been great this year and the A’s plan to open up the third deck and take off the tarp for the playoffs, the only tarp that won’t be taken off will be the one at the top of Mount Davis right next to the sky and all the way up top because those are the nose bleeds and I’ve been told if you sit there you can’t see the centerfielder because your right on top so as many of you know Mount Davis is not for baseball but everything else going to be open and it’s going to be a great place to be in a couple weeks.

The Angels are going to finish third and the Angels are still fighting as their five games under .500 to finish with 81 wins and I don’t know if their going to be able to do it. They might have been playing great but it’s too late now it’s been a great disappointment. The biggest teams in the American League are the biggest disappointments the Angels and the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays were stacked with all kinds of stars and their fighting to stay out of the cellar.

It happens, it’s baseball and that’s why they play 162 games and the A’s this year are a lot better than last year and I wouldn’t be surprised this time if they draw the Detroit Tigers again. They might take the Tigers and the A’s took three out of four from the Tigers at Comerica and they could beat the Tigers this time.

Rangers Ron Washington gets vote of confidence: Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington got a vote of confidence from Texas management and that’s good and I’m glad to see that because he doesn’t get the media coverage. A lot of minority managers don’t get much recognition like the Cuban manager of the Braves Freddy Gonzalez or Reds manager Dusty Baker and the like. Gonzalez is doing a great job with that team.

It’s good to see Washington getting a chance from the Rangers and getting a vote of confidence, he’s a good man I wish he would have come back to Oakland as manager of the A’s. He’s won two pennants with the Rangers in 2010 and 2011. The Rangers had lost Nelson Cruz this season with that suspension for PEDs so the A’s are having problems and Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish who is pitching remarkable for Texas and a few days ago he lost a great duel to A’s pitcher Bartolo Colon whose 40 years old.

The A’s are looking very good and it should be a very exciting divisional playoffs. The Twins are coming to Oakland for a weekend series and half of the team is a triple A team although the Twins Joe Mauer is hitting way over .300 who is fourth or fifth in the league in hitting and Mauer has won three batting titles already. The Twins could hurt you but if the A’s win three out of four from the Twins they could clinch at the Coliseum.

If the A’s can sweep the Twins they’ll still be one game short unless they get help from Texas if they lose a few this weekend to Kansas City as they enter Thursday’s schedule with a magic number of five. In four games you still need the Rangers to lose one game so there’s a good chance the A’s could clinch this Saturday or Sunday at the Coliseum.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez does News and Commentary each week for Sportstalk Radio and is the Spanish radio voice for A’s baseball

A-Rod’s grand slam puts Yanks on top of Giants

By Pearl Allison Lo

Behind in the count with two outs , Alex Rodriguez changed the game and also passed Lou Gehrig for most grand slams with 24, as New York beat San Francisco 5-1 Friday.

Giants’ starter Tim Lincecum was lifted in favor of George Kontos after 121 pitches and the bases loaded.  Rodriguez entered the inning just 1 for his last 25 and was behind 2-1 when his hit landed with the spectators in deep right field, leading to a much needed win for his team.

It was a tie game since early on in the matchup.

The Yankees’ Alfonso Soriano hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first to make the score 1-0.

The Giants tied the game the following inning.  Brandon Crawford was issued a leadoff walk.  One out later, rookie Juan Perez doubled Crawford back to home plate to make it 1-1.

Rodriguez’s grand slam set up came in the bottom of the seventh.  Eduardo Nunez led off with a single and stole second after one out. Brendan Ryan was then hit by a pitch and a fielder’s choice left runners on first and second once again.  Ichiro Suzuki then walked to load the bases.

Sabathia was lifted in the top of the eighth after 107 pitches and issuing a leadoff single in the game that featured two former Cy Young winners .

Lincecum threw two wild pitches in addition to his two walks in his first game playing against New York

San Francisco had a one out, runners on the corners scoring opportunity in the top of the first.

The Yankees also had the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the third.

Game notes: During the game, Lincecum became the first Giants pitcher with 1,500 strikeouts since  Gaylord Perry in 1971.  Both teams get right back to playing Saturday at 10:05 am with two morning games in a row.

Iguodala press conference highlights; “we have high expectations”

By Gabe Schapiro

This afternoon new Warrior Andre Iguodala was made available to the media for questions, during which he covered everything from his expectations for this years squad to his sons favorite San Francisco 49er (Colin Kaepernick, for those wondering).

Earlier this offseason Stephen Curry revealed that the team has a wins goal for next season that is written in the locker room, and that the number “starts with a five.” When asked about this goal, Iguodala responded that he has “high expectations for us,” but that he “won’t say too much about wins. I would rather fly under the radar.”

While the buzz would still likely qualify as under the radar, for one of the few times over the last 20 years Golden State begins a season with legitimate playoff hopes and beyond. Iguodala was asked about how that changes preparation, to which he said that it’s “a different type of focus. Everything you do is with a winning mentality.” Along those lines he said that during his career with the Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets he has never been in camp this early, and that the workouts during the offseason were never this organized. It goes a long way towards establishing a “sense of team,” and “building a foundation.”

As that foundation is being built, Iguodala spent a fair amount of time discussing how he has begun fitting in to this new environment, on and off the court. Off of it he said that he has played with a lot of good character guys and with pretty cohesive rosters, but that it has been “even easier with this team.”

On the court, known for his suburb defensive ability, he was asked about adjusting to the Warriors defensive strategies compared to what he was used to in Denver. He responded “it’s not much different” and that it makes for an easy transition because “there are some defensive principles that don’t change. There is no gray area, it’s just plain black and white.”

In regards to the impact he had on a vastly improved Nuggets defense last year, Iguodala remarked bluntly “I would say I had a lot to do with it. I had a lot of responsibility.” He continued that in general “I don’t get enough credit for what I brought to some teams.” He touched on the fact that he will be guarding the opposing teams best player most nights, which was a task issued to Klay Thompson much of the time last season. He said that Thompson is “a better defender than people think,” and that he looks forward to being able to help “take the pressure off of Klay. Let him do more work offensively.”

On the offensive side of his game, he again voiced that the adjustments he has to make are minimal. “If anything to just be more aggressive. Go into an attack style.” His ability to drive the ball and be that aggressive playmaker should open up a lot of looks for the dynamic backcourt of Curry and Thompson. On the topic of having those options Iguodala said, half jokingly, “that will be a little stressful. It’s hard to pick one, both can knock it down.” He added that he is “planning on some high assist nights.”

It was all good news from Golden State’s new swingman, as he seems to be fitting in perfectly. It should be noted, however, for anyone who hasn’t already gotten the public service announcement, don’t call him Iggy, “I’ve never liked to be called Iggy.” More creative and fitting nicknames are sure to come for what appears to be a very exciting group. Expectations are high for this club, and they have the expectations of themselves to match.

Michael Duca on A’s and Giants

by Michael Duca

OAKLAND–When it comes to Josh Donaldson he’s probably the best player the American League left off the All-Star roster and there’s little doubt that Donaldson has been pretty consistent and is number two in the A.L. in WAR which is one of those stats when you go to replace a player all year and that’s probably the best one or actually judging a player. He’s just about the best in the A.L. at providing victories for a team both offensively and defensively.
Donaldson has played an outstanding third base he would probably be the leading candidate for the gold glove if it weren’t for Mario Marchado in Baltimore and he is amongst the best offensive third baseman in the A.L. if it weren’t for the Miguel Cabrera guy in Detroit. He’s sort of the avis of third basemen in the A.L. second best defensively, second best offensively, probably best all around.
Donaldson in the playoffs:  To know how Josh Donaldson is going to do in the playoffs is something you can’t ask before the playoffs. How big of a role was the Giants Marco Scutaro last year? Nobody was expecting that, how big of a role was the former Giant Cody Ross in 2010? Nobody was expecting that. What happens in the playoffs was because teams have been scouted for weeks, weeks, and more weeks the key players tend to get shut down and the role players tend to play the biggest roles for the winning teams because if the role players who come and provide the offense allow a game to go far in the playoffs it’s the unexpected it’s the team tendators who show up out of nowhere.
Angel Pagan is carrying the Giants offense: People in the pressbox laugh when I say the Giants Angel Pagan has proved he’s the Most Valuable Player in the National League. By a real definition the term MVP he’s clearly the most valuable player to his team because they were in first place when he got hurt. Then the Giants played 20 games below .500 while he was gone and since his return they’ve climbed from the cellar back to third place.
There isn’t any question how important he is to the team, the best way to explain him is he gives the maximum effort and demands maximum effort and produces a higher level of energy within the clubhouse and on the field amongst their teammates. Who could ever forget last year watching the fast clap, the sunflower seed throwing, all of that stuff that outsiders think of is silly and a little boyish is really good how seriously good athletes manage to alleviate the pressure of playoffs.
It’s to revert to being little boyish, it’s to revert to going out and having fun when you perform and you relax and you let your talent to take over and that’s what Pagan did for the Giants last year and that’s what Hunter Pence did for them last year much like Juan Uribe did for them in 2010.
The way the Giants have played winning seven out of their last nine is their late September test against really good competition unless they had something to lose and I think the Giants will do really well to finish up the season. The Giants will be able to demonstrate a little bit more long ball power in the upcoming series at Yankee Stadium and the Giants pitching staff will probably do a good job in that ball park also because they throw a lot of ground balls.
The most important thing that’s going to come out of that series is the Giants are going to carry away with them forever the memory of being there for Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera’s last regular season home game and to see what the Yankees have planned for the future Hall of Famer.
Michael Duca does commentary each week for the Giants and A’s for Sportstalk

Big win keeps Quakes hopes alive in the Champions League

By Ivan Makarov

SANTA CLARA, CA – Facing elimination in the CONCACAF Champions League with a draw or loss, San Jose Earthquakes delivered one of their best performances this season against Montreal Impact on Tuesday night at Buck Shaw Stadium, defeating them 3-0.

After trading chances early on, the Quakes scored first on the 21st minute. A long throw in the Montreal’s zone landed on Steven Lenhart’s head who passed it back to Chris Wondowski. This caught Montreal’s defense by surprise and there was no one able to stop Quakes forward as he put the ball into the net, scoring first Champions League goal for the club in the tournament.

While the game looked even prior to the goal, the lead gave the Quakes needed confidence and they started to take over the pocessing and the scoring chances.

“The game changed a little bit [after the first goal],” said Montreal’s center back Alessandro Nesta. “We had some opportunities, and some chances, but as it happened today, if you don’t score, you start losing these opportunities.”

Impact’s best moment of the first half came at the very end when the cross from the left zone came within inches of Daniele Paponi’s foot and the empty net. Justin Morrow read the play and cleared it away from danger last moment.

Marvin Chavez delivered the second blow on the 57th minute. The ball was inside Montreal’s penalty box and Matteo Ferrari cleared it outside the box. It wasn’t a good clear, however, and it fell to Chavez chest who stopped it and put a hard volley on the net right after. It flew fast and into the net, giving the Quakes two goal lead they desperately needed to improve their standings.

Desperate for change, Montreal head coach Marco Schallibaum made double substitution on the 63rd minute, sending Felipe and Marco Di Vaio (current leading MLS goalscorer) onto the field. That didn’t help, however and neither forward had a scoring chance the rest of the game.

Coming on as a substitution for Marvin Chaves, Shea Salinas scored a similar goal as Chavez on 84th minute. It was another failed clearance by Montreal, and Salinas got the ball just at the top of the penalty box, with only Jeb Brovski and the goaltender to beat. Salinas accelerated with his signature takeoff speed, and blew past Brovski who couldn’t keep up. With just the goalkeeper Troy Perkins in front of him, Salinas put the ball into the net with the low kick to make it 3-0 for the Quakes.

Salinas could have made it 4-0 when he got the ball on the edge of the box during stoppage time, but he shot the ball straight into Perkins.

How pleased was the Quakes interim coach Mike Watson with the three goals in one game after scoring just once in the last three games?

“Very pleased,” he said after the game. “I thought at 1-0, there was still a lot to do in the game. We still had to defend a lot. It shows our persistence. We feel very good about our performance. Maybe three goals is what we need to get going offensively.”

Quakes are next back in action on Saturday when they travel to Salt Lake City on take on Real in the MLS regular season. Their next Champions League game is at home against CD Heredia on October 23.

SF Bulls pick up big defenseman Andrew Eastman

by Kahlil Najar

 eastman
The San Francisco Bulls announced today that they signed defenseman Andrew Eastman. The 5’11” Aurora, Ontario native spent the last two seasons playing for the University of Western Ontario where he lead them to the University Cup championship game in 2012. in 25 games in the 2011-2012 season he notched three goals and 14 assists for the Mustangs which landed his first in points for defensemen on the team. Over his two years with Western Ontario he tallied a total of 27 points in 51 games. Eastman has also spent time playing in Germany and in the Ontario Hockey League with the Barrie Colts and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Moncton Wildcats.

“It’s exciting to start my North American professional career,” said Eastman. “I have some experience playing pro in Germany, but it’s a different test here. Talking with Pat, I liked what he wants to do with the team, so it intrigued me to come here. I’ve never been to the West Coast, but it shouldn’t be as big of a culture shock compared to going over to Germany.”

On his latest acquisition, Bulls President/Head Coach Pat Curcio said, “Andrew is a skilled smooth-skating defenseman. He should contribute in the offensive department from the blue line. I was familiar with his play in the OHL and Germany. There have been a lot of players that made the jump from CIS and made an immediate impact at this level, so we’re optimistic Andrew will do the same.”