By Kahlil Najar
SAN FRANCISCO –
The San Francisco Bulls started off their second year in the ECHL with a tough preseason loss against the Bakersfield Condors 3-2. The Condors scored the their third and deciding goal with less than 30 seconds left when Gary Steffes put a rebound in after a tilt-a-whirl shot from Nick Wheeler was stopped by J.P. Anderson.
“You try to do everything you can to end up winning but you can’t. We made a lot of mistakes and so did they but we’re just going to learn from it.” said Head Coach Pat Curcio on tonight’s loss. “We wanted to give some of the young guys a chance and it’s a process and that’s the way it goes. You start slow.”
Returning players Dylan King and Kris Belan scored for the Bulls and OHL alum J.P. Anderson was between the pipes and was able to turn away 30 shots against an active Condor offense.
Defenseman Dylan King got the Bulls on the board first when he received a nice pass from Christian Ouellet from behind the next and he was able to beat Condor’s goalie Tyler Bunz top shelf. A little over 30 seconds later, Kris Belan was able to get a nice shot past Bunz from in between the circles in the Condors zone and make it a 2-0 Bulls lead. The Condor’s answered back with two consecutive goals in the second by Daniel Sobotka and Blair Maccaulay to tie the game at two a piece. The second goal being a short-handed masterpiece by the Condors stellar penalty kill line. The Condors sealed the victory with a nice rebound goal by Gary Steffes who shoved the puck under the sprawling Anderson.
The Bulls have a 22 man roster and a lot of them are young guys trying to earn a shot on the team. On putting the young players in the game, Curcio said “We want to see what their abilities are and who can do what.” Curcio continued and called out the play of Right Winger Dale Mitchell and said that he was” very good tonight. He’s going to be a good player for us.”
Also on the roster tonight was Anthony Taylor who earned a spot on the roster after wowing Curico and the Bulls staff at last month’s Open Tryout’s at the Cow Palace. “It was a great experience and it was very good hockey. I really liked the fans, they seemed really cool” said Taylor on stepping onto the Cow Palace ice for an official game. Curcio commented on Taylor’s and gave us a look into his future, “I thought he’s done a good job through training camp. We’re going to get him assigned to a Southern Professional team or Central League team where he can get his feet wet. He’s a young player and if he does well, we’ll give him another opportunity.”
The Bulls return to action on Saturday to host the Stockton Thunder at 7:30 pm at the Cow Palace.