Barracuda sweep Heat with 4-2 victory

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Marko Ukalovic

The San Jose Barracuda proved why they are the best team in the AHL. They had an answer for every Stockton Heat goal and swept the two-game home and home series with a 4-2 victory on Saturday afternoon at the SAP Center.

San Jose (25-8-42-4) drew first blood with a buzzer beater at the end of the first period. On the power play Calvan Fitzgerald sent a pass over to Kyle Woods with a few seconds remaining and Wood’s one-timer from the point went off Heat goalie Tyler Parsons’ (6-5-1) pad and past his five-hole into the back of the net with one-tenth of a second left on the clock. Anti Suomela received the secondary assist on Wood’s fourth goal of the season at the 19:59 mark.

Five minutes earlier, Stockton’s (18-21-4-1) best chance to get the game’s first goal belonged to Alan Quine and Buddy Robinson as they skated in on a 2-on-0 opportunity but would make one pass too many any Robinson’s shot on goal was quietly handled by Cuda goalie Antoine Bibeau (9-5-5) and the Heat were left frustrated.

Stockton tied the game up in the second period. Curtiz Lazar fed a pass over to Anthony Peluso and his fired a slap shot past Cuda goalie Antoine Bibeau (9-5-5) that hit off the cross-bar and into the back of the net for his third goal of the season at the 7:41 mark.

San Jose regained the lead when Jeffery Viel fed a pass over to spring Evan Weinger, who raced into the Heat zone, split two Stockton defenders and beat Parsons with a wrister to the short side of the net for his eighth goal of the season at the 11:58 mark.

Despite being out shot 12-8 in the middle frame, San Jose headed into the second intermission with a one-goal lead.

In the third period, Stockton continued their success on the power play as they tied up the game in the first five minutes. Rourke Chartier was stopped on a short-handed 2-on-1 break by Parsons, who then fed the puck up to Ryan Lomberg. Longberg found Spencer Foo and Foo’s wrist shot sneaked inside the near post past Bibeau for his 12th goal at the 4:48 mark.

It wouldn’t take long for San Jose to regain the lead as Calvan Fitzgerald, who just came out of the penalty box was at the right place at the right time as the puck came right to his stick from Dylan Gambrell and skated in and fired a slap shot past Parsons for his third goal of the season at the 7:23 mark.

Jon Martin wrapped up the game for the Cuda with an empty-net goal at the 18:57 mark. The unassisted goal was his eight goal of the season for Martin.

Bibeau made 28 saves on 30 shots to earn his 10th win of the season. Parson stopped 28 of the 31 shots he faced in suffering the loss.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 1/1 on the power play. Stockton was 1/2.

Cuda defenseman Jacob Middleton played in his 150th AHL game.

Alex True and Lazar exchanged fisticuffs with two minutes left in the second period.

San Jose wore a throwback jersey of the Kentucky Thoroughblades, one of the former minor leagues affiliates of the San Jose Sharks from 1996-2001.

Former San Jose Sharks Evgeni Nabokov and Dan Boyle served as honorary captains.

San Jose is 16-6 against Stockton at SAP Center.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda host the Iowa Wild on Tuesday, February 5 at 7:00 pm at SAP Center.

Bulls Win A Thriller Against Rival Thunder In Shootout 3-2

Photo Courtesy Stockton Thunder
Photo Courtesy Stockton Thunder

By Kahlil Najar

STOCKTON – The San Francisco Bulls (15-20-4-1) beat the Stockton Thunder (20-13-0-5), 3-2 in dramatic fashion that saw the Bulls score the tying goal in the third period and win a shootout. The Bulls Sebastian Stalberg shined bright for the Bulls as he scored the equalizer and the winning goal in the shoot out over Brian Foster. Bulls goalie Tyler Beskorowany stopped 34 shots on the night  including the big stops in the shootout on J.P. Burkemper and Matt Bergland.

The Thunder got on the board first when Shawn Boutin took a nice shot from the point and beat Besko who was being screened hard by a Thunder player. There were four penalties in the first including matching fighting majors on Bigos for the Bulls and MacLeod for the Thunder. Macleod was also charged with an Illegal check to the head.

The Bulls tied it up in the second when Jordan Morrison scored his 11th goal of the season off of a rebound that bounced off Foster. Dale Mitchell and Dean Ouellet received assists on the goal. For Ouellet this upped his point streak to six games in a row. With less that five minutes left, the Thunder regained the lead when Matt Bergland beat Besko on a nice pass from Greg Miller and brought it to a 2-1 game after two periods.

The third period saw both teams come out aggressive and saw three penalties called on the teams including a pair of roughing minors only 51 seconds into the period. Sebastian Stalberg tied the game with 6:38 left in the game when he followed his shot and gathered his own rebound and beat Foster to make it 2-2. Both teams turned up the heat as Riley Brace and Garet Hunt displayed when they got unsportsmanlike conduct penalties with three minutes left in the game. Foster and Besko were able to turn away 30 total shots in the period and take the game into overtime.

In the extra period the Bulls gave Stockton a chance when Kyle Bigos was called for tripping but the Bulls were able to hold them off and take the game into a shootout.

In the shoot out, Dean Ouellet and Stalberg scored for the Bulls and Besko stopped four of the the five Thunder shooters and gave the Bulls the 3-2 victory.

The Bulls now have a long 11-day holiday until they return back inside the Cow Palace on January 30th when they take on the same Stockton Thunder. Time of game is at 7:30pm.

Bulls lose big at home against Thunder

By: Phillip Torres and Kahlil Najar

DALY CITY-The San Francisco Bulls (12-17-3-1) hosted the Stockton Thunder (17-11-0-4) on Saturday night at the Cow Palace. Stockton defeated the Bulls 5-0 as goaltender Parker Milner pitched a shutout in the net. Saturday nights contest with the Thunder ended the five game consecutive game set between the two Pacific division rivals. The loss on Saturday was the third out of the five game set for the Bulls.

San Francisco was down early as James Henry scored at 7:58 in the first period to give Stockton the 1-0 advantage, and what figured to be the only goal they needed on the night. The Bulls could not get anything going offensively as key players Dean Ouellet and Jordan Morrison went down with injuries early.

When asked about how the team can bounce back and get a victory tomorrow night in Ontario coach Pat Curcio said jokingly, “We need five new players. “At this point we just need healthy bodies.”

Stockton would score two goals apiece in the next two periods to make it a comfortable win. Greg Miller and Lee Baldwin would score in the second period with assists form Mitch Bruijsten, Greg Miller, and Joey Martin, who assisted on both goals.

In the third period Bruijsten scored with less than one minute in to extend the lead to 4-0. Baldwin and Miller earned the assists on the score. The final goal was scored by Nathan Deck at 9:36 to put the icing on the cake. Garet Hunt earned the lone assist and Stockton sealed the game with a 5-0 victory to give them three in their past five games, all against the Bulls.

The Bulls will be back on the ice as they will face off with the Ontario Reign on Sunday at 3:00 PM in Ontario.


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.

Bulls Give Up Four Early And Lose To Thunder 5-1

Photo Courtesy SFBulls
Photo Courtesy SFBulls

By Kahlil Najar

STOCKTON – The San Francisco Bulls (11-16-3-1) were defeated by the Stockton Thunder (16-10-0-4), 5-1 in the Bulls last game of 2013.  The Bulls gave up four goals in the first and one in the third and were only able to nab one goal in the second from Tyler Gron who scored his 15th goal of the year.

The Bulls and Thunder condensed enough action for one game into the first 20 minutes of play. The four goals secured by the Thunder’s Matt Bergland, James Henry, Mike Dalhuisen, and Nick Larson were accompanied by three fights from the Bulls Scott Langdon, Steven Tarasuk and Kris Belan. Berglan scored early in the period to give Stockton the 1-0 lead and then at 14:35 the Thunder scored three unanswered goals over the next 3:04.
Head Coach of the Bulls had seen enough after the fourth goal that he pulled regular starter Tyler Beskorowany and put in back-up goalie J.P. Anderson.

In the second, the Bulls leading scorer Tyler Gron received a nice pass from Adrian Foster and beat Parker Milner and brought the deficit to only three goals.

The Thunder sealed the victory in the third when Oslanki beat Anderson and slammed the door shut on scoring for the night and give the game its 5-1 finale.

The Bulls continue this rivalry into the New Year when they face Stockton again this Friday at 7:30pm in Stockton.

Bulls Can’t Hang On To Late Lead And Fall To Thunder 7-6 In Overtime

Photo Courtesy SF Bulls
Photo Courtesy SF Bulls

By Kahlil Najar

STOCKTON – The San Francisco Bulls (11-15-3-1) couldn’t hang on to a late lead and lost 7-6 to the Stockton Thunder (15-10-0-4) in overtime Saturday night. Dean Ouellet, Adrian Foster, and Chris Crane shined for the Bulls as they each had three-point nights and Tyler Beskorowany and J.P. Anderson were able to turn away 31 shots.

The Bulls took a 3-1 lead in the first period with goals from Crane, Tyler Gron and Foster. Crane was able to score off a deflection on a nice shot from Kalvin Sagert at 6:33 and Gron got his goal 81 seconds later when he was able to get a great shot past the Thunders Brian Foster. The Thunder’s Mitch Bruijsten scored the teams first goal of the game and his first goal of the season when he beat Tyler Beskorowany with 11:33 gone in the first. Dean Ouellet scored his sixth goal of the season on a nifty one-timer on with a nice feed from Adrian Foster and gave the Bulls a two goal lead going into the second.

The Thunder turned the table on the Bulls in the second when they outscored the Bulls 4-1 and gave them a 5-4 lead going into the third. The Thunder’s Greg Miller scored 36 seconds into the period and Bruijsten tied the game with his second goal of the game with a little over 8 minutes left in the second. Collin Bowman was able to put the Bulls back on top 4-3 when he scored less that two minutes later. The Thunder then scored two unanswered goals from Joey Martin and Alex MacLeod.

The Bulls then answered with two of their own unanswered goals when Chris Crane scored his second goal of the game 4:33 into the third period and tied the game at five and Adrian Foster got his fifth goal of the year when he beat Brian Foster of a nice tip at 7:31 and brought the score to an unbelievable 6-5 Bulls advantage. Then with 12:39 gone in the third, Stockon’s Alex MacLeod scored his second goal of the game and tied the game at six at the end of regulation.

Greg Miller, who scored earlier in the game notched the game winner with only 45 seconds left to go in the extra frame with a nice pass from Garet Hunt and gave Stockton the 7-6 victory.

The Bulls and Thunder meet again tomorrow afternoon at 4pm.

Notes: Dean Ouellet now has 12 points (2g, 10a) in his last eight games… Tyler Gron and Kalvin Sagert extended their point-streaks to six games apiece.

Bulls Give It A Go But Come Up Short, Lose To Eagles 6-4

Photo Courtesy of The SF Bulls
Photo Courtesy of The SF Bulls

By Kahlil Najar

DALY CITY – The San Francisco Bulls (10-15-2-1) gave up two quick goals to the Colorado Eagles (17-6-3-2) in the first and were defeated 6-4. This is the fourth consecutive game in which the Bulls had to mount a come from behind fight but weren’t able to get on top today. Dean Ouellet, Brett Findlay, Luke Judson and Jordan Morrison scored for the Bulls and J.P. Anderson stopped 18 of 22 shots before being replaced by Tyler Beskorowany who stopped 8 out of 10 for the Bulls in net.  The Eagles Trent Daavettila scored three goals and garnered his first hat trick with the Eagles and the Eagles first hat trick of the season.

The Eagles jumped out to an early 2-0 lead behind goals from Riley Nelson and Trent Daavettila. Nelson scored from in front of the goal at 3:41 into the contest and Daavettila able to connect on a power play when he sent a shot over J.P. Anderson and gave Colorado the 2-0 lead. Dean Ouellet scored his fifth goal of the season just 20 seconds after the Eagles tally when he received some nice passes from Adrian Foster and Kalvin Sagert.

True to form, the Bulls scored first in the second period on a nice play from Brett Findlay who danced his way into the Colorado zone and was able to beat Adam Brown through his five hole. The Eagles responded with back-to-back goals in the fifteenth minute of the period when Daavettila got his second goal of the night and Kevin Ulanski tipped the puck over Anderson to give the Eagles a 4-2 lead going into the third.

The Bulls weren’t able to score first in the third period like they had been doing over all these come from behind games as the Eagles Jesse Mychan scooped up a rebound in front of the newly entered Beskorowawny and made it a 5-2 game. The Bulls then responded with their own back-to-back goals in the ninth minute of the period when Luke Judson and Jordan Morrison were able to get the puck past Brown and made it a 5-4 game with over 11 minutes left in the period. The Bulls were able to move the puck around well and take some great chances however Daavettila notched his third goal of the game when the Eagles were on a 5-on-3 power play after penalties to Foster and Judson and sealed the 6-4 victory.

On the loss, head coach Pat Curcio said, ““That was a tough loss. I thought we deserved better this weekend.”

The Bulls head back at it this coming Friday against the rivaled Stockton Thunder on Ugly Sweater night.

SF Bulls Make 4 Goal Comeback Against Stockton Thunder

By Mary Walsh

SAN FRANCISCO- Saturday, the San Francisco Bulls came back from a three-goal deficit to defeat the Stockton Thunder in a shootout. It was the third meeting of the season for the two teams. The first period ended tied at one, the second period ended 4-2. The teams went to a shootout tied at five goals apiece. Two of the Bulls’ goals were scored by Steven Tarasuk, his first two goals of the season. Also, there were teddy bears, lots of teddy bears tossed on the ice.

After the game, Head Coach Pat Curcio said:

From the beginning of the game tonight, we were much better than last night. I think our fans had a lot to do with it, it just gives our guys so much more energy and life out there. I thought in the second period, a couple of the mistakes that we made, it [was] unfair for us to be down 3-1. Obviously Scott Langdon got us on the board there, gave us some life and the guys just thought “if they scored three that quick, we can score three that quick.”

The game was a lot like the last game San Francisco played against Stockton: San Francisco was outshot, they fell behind by three goals, they pulled J.P. Anderson out and put Tyler Beskorowany in net mid-second period. The games were just alike, apart from four San Francisco goals scored in the second half of the game, three by defensemen.

Three and a half minutes of the first period went by before either team got a shot on goal, and then it was San Francisco’s shot. Stockton answered back quickly with two of their own, and then play was interrupted by a hit from Adrian Foster that left a Stockton player down for several seconds. A boarding call put the Bulls on the penalty kill. Stockton had two more shots on the power play but the Bulls’ penalty kill kept the game scoreless.

After 9:50, the Bulls still only had one shot on goal. This wasn’t an accurate reflection of zone time or scoring chances, which looked more even.

The Bulls also took the second penalty of the game, again to Foster, this time for high-sticking. At 14:03 of the first, Stockton scored on their eighth shot, a power play goal by Joey Martin from Corey Trevino and Matt Berglund.

At 13:29 of the period, Tyler Gron tied it up when three Bulls got the jump on the Stockton defense. The teddy bears flew, a significant improvement over last year’s teddy bear toss, when the Bulls didn’t score until the third period.

With 2:50 left in the period, Stockton’s Ryan Constant was called for cross-checking Dale Mitchell. The power play started out well enough, with a series of good chances during a long shift for San Francisco. The Bulls finally lost control of the puck and Stockton kept them from setting up again in the last few seconds of the penalty.

The period ended tied at one, with shots 10-8 for San Francisco.

During that first intermission, the Bulls thanked one of their most loyal fans, Misty. She will be moving to Florida this month and the Bulls aren’t likely to travel there often. The Bulls played a thank you message on the video cube.

The second period started quietly enough. With nearly four minutes gone in the period, Dale Mitchell and Stockton’s Mike Dalhuisen were called for roughing, putting the teams four on four. Neither team scored then, but at 6:31 of the period, Stockton’s Andrew Clark did, with a shot from the faceoff circle that beat Anderson on the far side. Assists went to Greg Miller and Garet Hunt. 33 seconds later, Stockton scored again. Goal by Alex MacLeod, unassisted.

In the next minute, the Bulls got a power play out of an interference penalty called on Larson. As the penalty expired, Stockton went the other way to put the puck in the net for the fourth time. James Henry’s shot got by Anderson but the goal was called off for goaltender interference.

The Thunder had to try again for that fourth goal a few minutes later, which Clark scored with another shot from the faceoff circle, beating Anderson on the far side. In both cases, Anderson had a player in front of him, but that was still four goals too many. Bulls Coach Pat Curcio replaced Anderson with Beskorowany.

A couple of minutes later, Scott Langdon scored his third of the season to make it 4-2. Assists went to Mitchell and Ouellet.

The period ended 4-2, with shots at 25-18, Stockton leading on both counts.

The first few minutes of the third dragged a bit, but at 3:57, Brett Findlay skated straight up the slot in the Thunders’ zone and shot the puck past Phillips to make it a one goal game. Assists went to Jordan Morrison and Steven Tarasuk.

Play picked up then, the teams trading aggressive forechecks, the goalies getting some work. Finally, Dylan King sent the puck along the blue line from one point to the other, where Tarasuk was waiting to slap it to the net. It made it through with help from a screen set by Chris Crane and Magomed Gimbatov. Assists went to Gimbatov and King.

The Bulls earned another power play with just under eight minutes left: a boarding call against James Henry. Half way through the power play, the Bulls gave up a short-handed chance but regrouped in time to go the other way again. A shot from the point gave the Bulls their first lead of the game. It was Tarasuk’s second goal of the game and the season. It was only the Bulls’ tenth shot of the period, and their third goal. Assists went to Kalvin Sagert and Gimbatov.

With under three minutes to go, Stockton tied it again and the game went to overtime tied 5-5. The goal was Mike Dalhuisen’s, with an assist from Clark.

A fast overtime period flew by without many whistles or breaks in play. The shootout went five rounds, with Dean Ouellet and Brett Findlay scoring for San Francisco and Joey Martin scoring for Stockton. Final score: 6-5 San Francisco.

For full game stats, visit the ECHL website.

Roster notes:

The last time the Bulls met the Thunder, Stockton won 5-1. Since then, the Bulls have lost Mark Lee to injury, but regained Dale Mitchell and acquired Tyler Gron. That isn’t unusual in the ECHL: roster turnover is pretty high, especially since they have to contend with a roster limit and salary cap.

Nonetheless, it is worth pausing to consider how many players have come or gone from the Bulls’ lineup since November 20. Kyle Bodie, Josh Kidd, Damon Kipp, Riley Emmerson and Rob Linsmayer had been traded away or gone to China. In their places, the Bulls acquired Kalvin Sagert, Adrian Foster, Magomed Gimbatov, and Berkley Scott. In short, the team has replaced almost one third of the roster. Half of the Bulls who scored against Stockton are not playing: Lee and Linsmayer. Worth noting, Tyler Gron did score against the Thunder this season, as a member of the Idaho Steelheads, on November 24.

For Stockton’s part, two players arrived December 11 from the AHL: defenseman Mike Dalhuisen and left wing Nick Larson. Dalhuisen played seven games with the Thunder this season, this was Larson’s first game in the ECHL.

Bulls wrangled in by Thunder, lose 5-1


by Kahlil Najar

STOCKTON– The San Francisco Bulls (4-8-1-1) were defeated by the Stockton Thunder (8-4-0-1), 5-1. Rob Linsmayer scored the lone goal for the Bulls in the loss.

Stockton took the lead in the first on two unanswered goals in the first by the Thunders James Henry and Landon Oslanski. The second period saw the Bulls try and attack the net more however their motives were thwarted by goalie Brian Foster who after this win improved his record to 7-0-1. Ryan Constant scored the Thunders third goal at 8:48 and caused the Bulls to remove Tyler Beskorowany from the net and put in J.P. Anderson.

Even with Anderson in net, the Thunder continued their onslaught as Matt Bergland scored at 7:51 and James Henry scored his second of the game with 9:56 left in regulation to put Stockton up 5-0. The Bulls Linsmayer tapped in a goal with a little less than two minutes left in the game to squash the shut out bid and brought the finally tally to 5-1 in favor of the Thunder.

The Bulls return home on Friday to take on the Utah Grizzlies for Ghirardelli Chocolate Night.

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


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.