Last night the San Francisco Bulls were on the road as the Condors played hosts to their divisional foe for the third time this season. The Bulls have defeated the Condors at the Rabobank Arena in their last two meetings with their most recent at the Condors home barn that dates back on November 20th that featured a 4-2 final. As the two teams entered the contest, the Bulls on the season series have a 4-2 lead with this match up that marks the seventh meeting on the season. Both clubs entered the game having lost the night before as San Francisco got handed a 7-0 beat down by the Ontario Reign and for the Bakersfield Condors they got handed a 5-2 defeat thanks to the Idaho Steelheads. For the goaltenders, head coach Pat Curcio of the Bulls eleceted to start Thomas Heemsherk and coach Matt O’Dette of Bakersfield, put Brian Stewart in between the pipes.
In the early stages of the opening period, San Francisco would draw first blood on a 2 on 1 entry into the Bakersfield zone as Captain Justin Bowers fires the puck past the Condors net minder to put the Bulls up 1-0 at 1:28 of the first. The goal would be Bowers seventh of the season with assists from Clendenning and Guimond. Shortly after the Bulls put the games first tally of the night both teams got tangled up a scrum as the refs intervened to separate the clubs as play continued. Minutes later following the scrum, the Bulls Dean Ouellet would get the first penalty of the game as he was called for boarding at 7:48 of the opener. On the power play, Bakersfield would get a few good scoring chances but the Bulls killed the first penalty to keep their early 1 goal lead intact. Over the halfway point of the period, both teams were tied at seven shots each. Later in the first period, the Bulls would be shorthanded again when Jose Sova would get a five minute major for elbowing Bakersfield Condors Parker Stanfield at 11:42. Less than 40 seconds on the man advantage for the Condors, Bakersfield’s Hudson would march off to the box for interference putting both teams at 4 aside at the 12:07 mark. While both teams skated four on four, Bakersfield Jacob Legace provided the equalizer for his club to tie it up at 1 apiece. Right after the four on four session, the Condors drew another penalty as Bulls defenseman Sacha Guimond went off for hooking. For the second time of the period, Bakersfield would be undisciplined on their man advantage opportunity, thus putting both teams at 4 skaters aside as Hudson was called for interference at 14:54. Nine seconds later the Bulls would get caught on a sloppy line change as the refs charged them with a too many men on the ice infraction as the bench minor was served Tarasov at 16:09 of the first frame. On the four on three situation, the penalties continued as Bakersfield’s Brett Lyons went to the sin bin for hooking making it a very busy first period for the refs at 18:11 of the first frame. Over a minute later, Bakersfield’s penalty problems would continue as Scott Enders was caught with a cross checking minor at the 19:23 mark. With a penalty filled 1st period it finally came to a close with the scored tied 1-1. In addition, the Bulls will have 11 more seconds of 5 on 3 play to start the 2nd. With the teams going into the first intermission, the Bakersfield Condors edged the San Francisco Bulls by five shots on the shot clock at 16-11 margin.
In the early stages of the middle frame the Bulls continued their 5 on 3 power play. While on the two man advantage the Bulls were unable to take the lead as the power play was downgraded to a 5 on 4 opportunity. On the man advantage, the Bulls again were unable to take the lead as the Condors killed off their two back to back penalties that were given to them from the first period. Shortly after the 5 on 3 and 5 on 4 penalty situation was killed off for Bakersfield, the Condors would go back to the box when forward Liam Huculak was called for an interference minor at 2:39 of the middle frame. On the Bulls third straight man advantage opportunity their only prime scoring opportunity came on a sweet give an go by Sivak and Viedensky as the Condors pk unit stepped up once again to deny San Francisco from taking the lead. Thus making them 0-3 on the power play for the Bulls. Later in the middle frame, a cross checking minor called on the Condors Evan Trupp at 14:16, it made the 4th power play opportunity of the night for the Bulls. During that man advantage for San Francisco’s Dean Ouellet put one away at 15:54 with the assists from Rob Kwiet and Jordan Morrison 2-1 Bulls lead. Through 40 minutes of play both teams entered the second intermission with both teams a 22-22 tie on the shot clock.
Four minutes into games the final frame, the Bulls Guimond went to the penalty box for hooking at 3:58. This marked the Condors 5th power play of the game. While shorthanded for San Francisco, the moment of the season finally happened when the Bulls scored their first shorthanded goal of the season as Kris Belan pumped it home with assists from Jordan Morrison at 4:19 to make it 3-1 San Francisco. Still on the power play for the Condors, the Bulls pk unit stepped up to deny Bakersfield from cutting into their new two goal cushion courtesy of the shortie by Belan. Less than three minutes later after the Bulls shorthanded goal, Condors Levi Nelson went to the box for tripping up San Francisco’s Jordan Morrison at 7:06 of the final frame. On the power play, the Bulls Andrew Crescenzi put the puck past Condors net minder Brain Stewart that made it a 4-1 Bulls lead. The goal marked Crescenzi’s third of the season with assists from Peter Sivak and Sacha Guimond as Bulls at that point of the contest would be 2-5 on the power play. As the games final period was winding down, Condors Scott Enders would go off to the sin bin for his second of the night, thus putting the Bulls on the man advantage for the sixth time of the night at 18:13. The Bulls on the man advantage would score as time would expire as the Bulls come away with a decisive 4-1 victory. The final shot clock read 33-27 in favor of the Bulls. The Bulls are back in action for a special Monday night game at the HP Pavilion in San Jose courtesy of the Sharks as they will face off against the Stockton Thunder. The puck is set to drop at 7:30p at the Shark Tank.
3 Stars of the game:
1. SF – 45 Dean Ouellet
2. BAK – 83 Jacob Lagace
3. SF – 33 Thomas Heemskerk
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