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 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 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 Earn First Win Of The Year Against The Eagles In Thrilling Shootout 4-3

Photo Courtesy of SF Bulls
Photo Courtesy of SF Bulls

By Kahlil Najar

DALY CITY – In a hard fought game the San Francisco Bulls (10-14-2-1) beat the Colorado Eagles (16-6-3-2) 4-3 with a come from behind victory that ended with a shootout game winner by assistant captain Jordan Morrison. The Bulls fell behind by two goals early in the game and have everyone in the Cow Palace thinking this game was goner but the Bulls scored two goals in third to tie the game and send it into overtime and ultimately into the shootout. Tyler Beskorowany turned away 20 shots and earned his ninth victory of the year.

Both teams played a very physical game which for the most part was allowed by the referees and really saw what was a budging rivalry between the Eagles and the Bulls.

“They’re such a great hockey team. To me they’re the best team in the league. They’ve been steam rolling teams and we’ve been fortunate enough to compete. That was a good team – it was a good test for us,” said Bulls Head Coach Pat Curcio.

Colorado got on the board first when the Eagles had the puck deep in the Bulls zone but lost it to the Bulls who flipped the puck up ice into the Eagles zone. An alert Eagles defender sent a laser of a pass to Trent Daavettila who was cherry picking on the Bulls blue line and found Kyle Ostrow streaking towards the goal who completed the play and beat Beskorowany to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. Less than five minutes later, the Eagles were handed an opportunity from the Bulls as they were called for too many men on the ice and gave the Eagles their first power play of the night. Right Winger Luke Fulghum received the puck from Kevin Ulanski and Trent Daavettila and was able to toss the puck at Besko who stopped it initially with the side of his body but it managed to deflect itself into the goal to bring the lead to two.

These events must have been disheartening for the team as they have trailed in their last two home games and saw the same thing happening again. However the Bulls didn’t lose hope and kept grinding away.

“You have a choice – lay over or be a hockey player – you battle. That’s what guys are doing,” said Forward Adrian Foster.

The Bulls struck back fast as Tyler Gron took a shot from the left circle that grazed the post and careened around the boards to Dylan King who was able to catch Colorado goalie Cheverie still admiring his post’s save and got the puck into the back of the net to give the Bulls their first goal of the game. The Eagles regained their two goal lead a few minutes later when Jonathan Parker was able to shove the puck over Besko for his sixth goal of the year and give the Eagles a 3-1 lead going into the third.

On being down again, Luke Judson said, “We knew we’ve come close to coming back from five (goals) last game so two goals wasn’t a big deal for us. We’re happy with the way we were playing minus a few mistakes.”

The Bulls attacked early again in the third when Brett Findlay scored on a shot from Collin Bowman that went wide and bounced off the back board and landed in front of the goal which Findlay was able to shove past Cheverie to make it a 3-2 Colorado advantage. At 9:43 of the third, the Bulls completed the comeback on a puck that found its way onto the stick of Adrian Foster who was in front  of the net and he knocked the water bottle off the roof of the net to tie the game at 3 and lead us into overtime.

After a scoreless overtime, the game headed into a shootout. It took seven goes but Jordan Morrison was able to beat Cheverie with a high shot that hit the post and bounced its way into the back of the net and secured the victory for the Bulls.

The Bulls last two victories have been come from behind shootout victories. The last one before tonight was the amazing game against the Stockton Thunder on Teddy Bear Toss night when Findley scored the game winner in the fifth round.

Curcio concluded,”What we’ve been through these past couple weeks and the adversary that we’ve been able to overcome these guys earn a lot of the credit.”

The Bulls and Eagles end their three game series this Sunday afternoon at 2:15 pm. The first 500 kids, 13 and under will receive a light-up Snowflake Wand.

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.

Quick strikes doom the Bulls, lose 5-2

Photo Courtesy of San Francisco Bulls
Photo Courtesy of San Francisco Bulls

By Kahlil Najar

SAN FRANCISCO -Three quick goals at the start of the third period proved too much for the Bulls (5-11-1-1) to overcome as they lost the end of a back-to-back series against the Bakersfield Condors (4-12-0-1) 5-2. Tyler Gron and Adrian Foster are proving that Pat Curcio made the right move in trading for them as they contributed a goal a piece and were active throughout the contest. Tyler Beskorowany had a great first and second period as he stopped 16 of 18 shots but it was the third that was the dagger when he let in three goals in under 4 minutes.

The first period proved to be a tough one for the Bulls as they were only able to land two shots on goal and allowed the Condors to take 13 including a goal from Jordan Knackstedt. The Bulls had the puck in the Condors zone but the puck bounced over a Bulls stick and landed on the Condors Joel Broda’s blade. Broda sprinted up ice with a trailing Knackstedt. Broda took a shot that Beskorowany was able to slow down but then it trickled through his five hole and Knackstedt was able to put the puck in the wide open net and give the Condors a 1-0 lead. Both teams played friendly for the rest of the period but you could tell something was in the air as more sticks started swinging in the air and the pushing and shoving began.

The Bulls tied up the game with less than two minutes gone in the second period. After some fierce battling in the Condors zone, the Bulls were able to keep the puck in the zone and Adrian Foster redirected a shot from Dylan King for his first goal of the year and tie it up at one. Then the fun started.

Adrian Foster was camping out in front of the Condors goal and was pushed into Condors goalie Tyler Bunz. Bunz didn’t take too kindly to the interference so he smacked Foster in the face.  When Foster tried to defend himself, the Condors Cunningham came into protect his goalie and skirmish ensued. After some more rough housing, Dean Ouellet and Jordan Knackstedt did some dancing around and some yelling at each other that earned them both 10 minute misconducts. In the span of 30 seconds of ice time, the Bulls and Condors received 14 minutes of penalties.

At 16:50 of the second period, the Bulls scored what may have been the prettiest goal of the year. Jordan Morrison controlled the puck in the center ice and found a streaking Brett Findlay charging for the blue line. The pass ended up in Findlay’s gut and when he was able to pull it out with his hand and place it on the ground, he was already being covered heavily by a Condors defender. Out of the corner of his eye Findlay saw Tyler Gron trailing and hit him with a pinpoint pass and Gron was able get it in the goal for his third goal in two days and give the Bulls a 2-1 lead. The shots were all tied up at 18 after two and the Bulls had to be feeling good going into the locker room.

Coming out on the ice in the third, the Bulls looked a little sluggish and it was obvious in the first 5 minutes that they weren’t ready to come out and play. The Condors Wes Cunningham took a shot from the point at 2:14 that was tipped in by Ryan Watson and tied that game at 2. On a breakaway seconds later, Joel Broda was able to beat Besko with a nice shot under his glove that gave the Condors the 3-2 lead. Thirty-three seconds later after Tyler Gron was called for high sticking, Broda scored his second goal of the night off of a nice face off win from Matt Thurber and took a wicked shot through traffic and made it 4-2. The Condors then added an empty netter with less than 30 seconds to go and made it a final of 5-2.

The Bulls are now 2-10-1-0 when giving up the first goal of the game and are now 1-7 at home. Dean Ouellet who had owned the Condors going into this game (he’s scored 8 goals in 11 games) was held scoreless and only took one shot on goal.

The Bulls look to turn it around on Friday when they head to Utah to take on the Grizzlies.

Bulls pick the Condors apart, win 5-1

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By Kahlil Najar

The San Francisco Bulls’ (5-10-1-1) easily handled the Bakersfield Condors (3-12-0-1) and got themselves back in the win column with an easy 5-1 win.  Tyler Gron led the Bulls as he scored twice and had an assist and Brett Findlay, Dylan King and Dean Ouellet each contributed with a goal of their own. Tyler Beskorowany was great in net as he stopped 27 of 28 shots.

The Bulls hadn’t scored a goal in a week until Dean Ouellet took a shot from the left faceoff dot to beat Condor netminder Chet Pickard for a 1-0 lead in the first. The Condors tied it up 8:53 into the second when Defenseman Chris Collins split two defenders and got the puck past Besko and make it 1-1. The Bulls then scored four unanswered goals to seal the victory. Tyler Gron went a coast-to-coast and gave the Bulls a 2-1 lead.

Dylan King and Brett Findlay scored for the Bulls in the third and Gron sealed the win with his second goal of the game with a little less than four minutes left.

The Bulls return home tomorrow to face the Condors again. Wednesday night is also the first ever bobblehead giveaway for the Bulls and they’re giving away a miniature Pat Curcio statuette to the first 1,000 people.

Bulls drop fifth straight lose 6-0

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By Kahlil Najar

SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Bulls can’t seem to figure out the Idaho Steelheads and goalie Pat Nagle. The Bulls took a season high 41 shots on goal but dropped their fifth straight game and lost to the Steelheads 6-0. The 41 shots on goal is one shot less than the franchise record set last year. The Bulls are now 0-2-1-1 against Idaho. With his 41 stops, Steelheads goalie Nagle earned his fourth win and first shutout of the year. The goose egg put up by the Bulls was their first shutout at home this season and the first time they haven’t scored a goal since November 6th against Ontario.

The Steelheads Anthony Nigro beat Tyler Beskorowany just 18 seconds into the game and gave Idaho the early 1-0 lead.

On the quick goal Bulls Head Coach Pat Curcio said, “He scored on a lucky bounce and it hit the shaft and went in. It’s hard to gain confidence when you have a goal go in like that.”

The Bulls played well after that goal and notched a season high 19 shots on goal in the first period. One of those shots was what looked like a goal by the Bulls Chris Crane but was waved off by the on-ice officials as the goal judge had lost sight of the puck.

‘The goal judge couldn’t see the puck so he blew the whistle. You’d think at home they’d turn the light on for you,” said Curcio.

“We’ve got to get to the net, we’ve got to stop at the crease and we have to pepper it on the goalie. We have to get in their face,” said right winger Chris Crane on the Bulls play through the first.

In the second, Idaho’s Patrick Cullity was streaking down the left side of the Bulls zone and found a open Mercier who was skating into the slot and smacked a one-timer that just beat Beskorowany’s outstretched left pad to make it 2-0.The third period saw a flurry of Idaho goals including a gut-wrenching shorthanded goal by Mercier that Curcio said was the killer and totally deflated the team. Brock Montgomery, William Rapuzzi, and Gaelan Peterson scored the remainder of the goals for Idaho and sealed the victory, 6-0.

“I don’t know what to tell these guys when you take 41 shots and probably over 20 scoring chances and you don’t score a goal, it’s pretty frustrating,” said Curcio. “If you don’t score and get momentum and get confidence then you’re in trouble.”

The Bulls head back on the ice tomorrow at the Cow Palace against the Utah Grizzlies. Curcio said, “We’ve got to find a way to win tomorrow. We’re going to stay positive and take shots on goal.”

Crane echoed coaches sentiments and said, “The most important thing is that we have to move on. You have to walk out of this rink and get a good nights sleep and recover. We have to come in tomorrow and take it to them. It’s our barn and that’s what we have to do.”

Game time is 7:30pm PST. The first 1,000 fans will receive a Bulls Cow Bell. In addition, the SF Firefighters Local 789 is hosting a Toy Drive. Each fan that donates a toy receives a “Buy One Get One Free” voucher for either the December 14 or December 17 game.