Last night, the San Francisco Bulls beat the Stockton Thunder 4-3 in overtime. It was their fourth of four games at home, the first of three games in three nights, the second and third to be played in Ontario and Bakersfield.
New things seen at last night’s game: The Cube can be broken, and repaired quickly. A shot from I’m not sure who in the first period went too high and hit the board right in the period number. A panel was knocked loose but was as easily fixed during intermission.
Also new: Peter Sivak moved to the line with Justin Bowers and Dean Ouellet, and Jordan Morrison centered both Sharks forward prospects Marek Viedensky and Daniil Tarasov. That second line scored the first goal of the game, credited to Tarasov, with the assist to Viedensky.
Neither the SF Bulls nor the Worcester Sharks showed up on the transaction lists today, or since the December 1 recall of Mikael Tam to the AHL.
Daniil Tarasov did end up starting on a line with Justin Bowers and Dean Ouellet for Wednesday’s game. That worked out well and quickly, as he scored the first goal less than five minutes into the game. Assists went to Bowers and defenseman Scott Langdon. The Bulls went on to roll over Bakersfield for a final score of 4-1. Two of the Bulls’ goals came from Peter Sivak, the first on a power play in the first, assists to Viedensky and Tarasov. His second was scored at even strength in the second, assist to Alex Tuckerman. The fourth Bulls goal was scored by Dean Ouellet in the third, assists to Bowers and Tarasov.
The San Francisco Bulls have returned from an unmemorable three game road trip. Perhaps it wasn’t really unmemorable. The back and forth scoring and last-second tying goal in Las Vegas was pretty exciting, but the team still didn’t bring a win home.
Tonight they face the by now familiar Bakersfield Condors at the Cow Palace. As of Monday, the Bulls’ forward lines still looked much the same, aside from the possibility of Tarasov and Clendenning switching lines. But that was just one practice two days ago, hardly conclusive.
The Condors won in a shootout last Saturday against Stockton, ending a six-game losing streak. They are 5-2 in shootouts this season, so that would probably be a good situation to avoid with them. They are in last place in the division.
It was a big win. It didn’t clinch a playoff spot, it wasn’t their first win ever, but it was a big win. It was the first time the team won three in a row, and their first win against the Reign. It was a chance for the team to take a significant lead, hang on to it and build it to a final score of 5-1. It was a big win for the Bulls, and it was a win for Pat Curcio and his roster overhaul.
I felt sort of badly for writing about the 7-0 Bulls loss a couple of weeks ago. It didn’t seem fair to cover that game in such detail, and say so little about them after that. But that was the game I went to. By Friday night, the team looked completely different. If you had told me that replacing half of the players in the space of two weeks would result in a consistent and almost shocking improvement, I would not have believed you. I’m a believer in slow-growth chemistry. You don’t just throw guys together and they all know what to do, not outside of Hollywood disaster films.