Bulls Dig Deep, Find New Mettle

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(Originally published at Inside Hockey)

The San Francisco Bulls started a six-game homestand last weekend, with two games against the top two teams in the ECHL’s Pacific Division. The Bulls lost the first to Ontario 4-1, and won the second against Stockton in a shootout 6-5. The loss was a big let down after the team had competed so effectively against Ontario the weekend before. Continue reading

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SF Bulls Make 4 Goal Comeback Against Stockton Thunder

IHtbsLangdon

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

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. Continue reading

Bulls Off The Schneid, Beat Condors 5-1

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SF Bulls’ Forward Rob Linsmayer

(Originally published at Inside Hockey)

Going into Bakersfield Tuesday night, the San Francisco Bulls not only needed a win, they badly needed a goal. After being shut out in back to back home games to cap off six losses in a row, the Bulls were having trouble explaining their troubles. At the start of the season, maybe they weren’t shooting enough. By the fifth loss in this latest losing streak, they were certainly shooting enough. Tuesday, their shots finally started to hit the mark, five times in all. The Bakersfield Condors were the unlucky targets of the Bulls’ vengeful scoring binge. Is one win and some roster moves enough to turn the tide for the Bulls? Time will tell, but San Francisco really had nowhere to go but up. Continue reading

SF Bulls Start Season On Familiar Ground

The San Francisco Bulls start the 2013-14 season on the road, against the Alaska Aces. Their preseason ended in three losses, including one shootout loss. Preseason games don’t tell you a great deal about how a team will perform in the regular season, but the Bulls’ two exhibition games at the Cow Palace were worth a look. New forward Ryan McDonough gave his assessment:

At the end we didn’t get the result we wanted but it is preseason and we’re just getting everything together so I think we’re moving forward pretty well.

In the Bulls’ first game, against the Bakersfield Condors, most of the faces on the ice were unfamiliar to fans. Head Coach Pat Curcio wanted to see as many players in a game setting as possible: Continue reading

Bulls vs Aces: WCQF Game 3 Preview

The ECHL’s Kelly Cup Quarter Finals resume tonight for the San Francisco Bulls and the Alaska Aces. It will be the first of three playoff games in three days at the Cow Palace. The series is tied 1-1 after two games in Alaska.

The Aces ended the regular season as the top team in the ECHL. Bulls Head Coach Pat Curcio described some of the things that make Alaska such a dangerous opponent:

Obviously their goaltending is exceptional. They’ve been the best in the league, they’ve won championships and of course from the defense out they’ve got great players. You don’t do what [they’ve done] without the players and the horses to do so.

Gerald Coleman was in goal for Alaska in the first two games of this series. Coleman was ranked second in GAA this season, has played in the last three post-seasons, twice with Alaska. In 32 games this season, he finished with a GAA of 2.17, a save percentage of .918, and 23 wins. Continue reading

The Bulls Back at Home for Playoffs

The San Francisco Bulls are back at the Cow Palace. Their first post-season run will resume on Thursday. They lost Game One last Friday to the Alaska Aces by a score of 5-1. They tied the series the next day by winning 1-0.

Kris Belan scored Friday’s goal short-handed. Kory Falite scored the game winner on Saturday, with assists to Brett Findlay and Dean Ouellet. Except for Falite’s, all of those points went to players in their first professional playoff series. Bulls goalie Thomas Heemskerk, who was replaced by Taylor Nelson during Friday’s loss, recorded a shutout in Saturday’s win. This is his first professional post-season too.

For a team that just wrapped up its first regular season, newness is hardly new, but these are the playoffs: Continue reading