Tonight the San Francisco Bulls took their game on road for the first time to Stockton to take on the Thunder. The Bulls entered the contest with 3-1 lead on the season series. The one loss came in their last matchup when the Bulls and the Thunder took to the ice at HP Pavilion in San Jose, home of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. Toni Rajala netted a hat trick, and Stockton came away with the win 6-4 in front of 12,881 hockey hungry fans.
Stockton Thunder drew first blood at 2:11 of the first period to take a 1-0 lead. Thunder’s goal was scored by Riendeau who talled his 12th of the season with assists from Reber and Hunter.
Shortly after the goal by the Thunder, Bulls Lessard was caught with a elbowing minor. On the power play, Stockton added to their one goal lead after striking right after the ensuing face off to take a 2-0 lead. Riendeau scored his second goal of the night and 13th of the year. His goal was assisted by Little and Hunter at 2:34 of the first.
Over two minutes later the Bulls Joe Sova was called for delay of game minor at 4:41 of the first. The good news for the Bulls was that the Thunder did not convert as the score remained 2-0 Stockton lead.
At the 6:50 mark of the first, Stockton received their first penalty of the night when Bergland was charged with an interference minor. Over a minute into their first power play of the contest, Bulls forward Peter Sivak scored to bring the score to 2-1 as his marker was assisted by Rob Kwiet at 7:59 of the first frame.
With less than two minutes remaining of the first, Stockton’s Eric Hunter scored to take a 3-1 lead. The goal by Hunter was his 14th of the season with the assists from Riendeau and Reber.
As the period went on, Bulls Galiardi was called for a delay of game minor with 26 seconds left of the opening period. The period came to a close with Stockton carrying the rest of the power play into the next frame.
At the end of the first period the Thunder lead the Bulls 3-1 Shots are tied at 11
With only 1:06 into the second period the Thunder increased their lead to make 4-1 as Matt Ambroz scored his first goal of the season with assists from Brodie and Levesque.
Immediately following the fourth goal by the Thunder, Bulls Head Coach Pat Curcio Bryan replaced Tayler Nelson for Bryan Hince in attempt to stop the bleeding.
At 9:45 of the second the Bulls went on the power play when Harrison Reed went off to the box for hooking. On the power play Bulls forward Dean Ouellet scored on a nice backhander to bring the score to 4-2 Thunder. Dean Ouellet’s goal was his 18th of the season with assists from Galiardi and Sivak.
At the end of the second period the Thunder lead the Bulls 4-2. Thunder lead the shot clock 22-20
The Bulls entered the final period on the penalty kill. Moreover, the Bulls received a delay of game minor back in the second period when Rylan Galiardi was called for a delay of game minor. The Bulls managed to kill off the penalty as the score remained 4-2 Thunder.
Minutes later the Stockton Thunder put some more distant between the Bulls as Matt Reber buried the puck to make it a 5-2 Stockton lead. Reber goal was his seventh of the season with the lone assist to Levesque.
Less than a minute after the Thunder took a 5-2 lead, the Bulls took two very undisciplined penalties when Belan was called for a hold and Kwiet with the additional penalty for unsportsmanlike. Kwiet would get another penalty assessed to him for a game misconduct as he showed abuse towards the officials.
Excellent penalty killing by the Bulls escaped Stockton’s two minute 5v3 power play with 10:31 remaining in the game as Stockton’s lead remained 5-2.
After the stellar effort of killing off their 5 on 3 penalty, the Bulls went on power play as Garet Hunt from Stockton received a two minute minor for a hold at 10:07. San Francisco would come up short as the Thunder maintained their three goal lead.
San Francisco would not come any closer to the Thunder as they defeated the Bulls 5-2. On the shot clock however, the Bulls beat the Thunder 33-27.
The Bulls return to action again tomorrow at the Cow Palace at 7:15 as they take on the Stockton Thunder for the second of three meetings over the weekend.
3 Stars of the Game:
1. STK – 18 Yannick Riendeau
2. STK – 15 Eric Hunter
3. STK – 10 Matt Reber
Be sure to follow all of your BoT staff on twitter!!!
Blades of Teal: Tape to tape “WITH THE PASS” of expert analysis on San Jose Sharks, Worcester Sharks, and San Francisco Bulls hockey