Peter Sivak

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Peter Sivak

Peter Sivak was the first player signed by the San Francisco Bulls.  A quick google search for “Peter Sivak” will turn up several mentions of one of the fastest goals in professional hockey history.  Whether it was 5 seconds from the faceoff, 4.8 seconds, or 3.23 seconds isn’t important.  It was very fast.  It isn’t entirely surprising that he did that.  Sivak takes a lot of shots, from every angle, very quickly.  This is one of the reasons he is the Bulls’ leading goal-scorer.

His North American career did not start so auspiciously.  In his first month with the team, he had only one goal, three points, and 22 shots in eight games.

After that slow start, Sivak’s production picked up with a statistical jolt.  In 24 games through November and December, he scored 10 goals, had 25 points, and took 92 shots.    In January and February, he had 16 goals, 20 points, 109 shots in 23 games.  During his first two months in the league, he took a paltry 12 penalty minutes, not bad for a player expected to score and stay out of the box.  Since then, his penalty minutes have gone down even more, to just twelve minutes in 37 games, including a penalty-free February. Continue reading

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Bulls rally from 3-0, lose in shootout

It was the last time the Bulls would face the Ontario Reign this season, and the Bulls needed a win.  They didn’t get one Friday, but they earned an important point by making it to a shootout against the top team in the ECHL.  The final score was 4-3.  Ontario’s Chris Carrozzi made 23 saves, Taylor Nelson made 24 for the Bulls.  Dean Ouellet, Jordan Morrison and Cody Carlson scored for the Bulls, Ontario goals were scored by Kyle Kraemer (2) and Mario Lamoureux.

With only 17 wins in 46 games, San Francisco always needs a win, and they haven’t gotten many from Ontario.  In nine meetings this season, the Bulls have only one win against the league leaders.  The Bulls don’t need a win so much to make it into the playoffs as to redeem themselves after three losses in a row.

The Bulls are just 17-23-1-5 this season, good for fifth in the Pacific Division, eighth in the Western Conference.  The only team below them are the Bakersfield Condors.  All the Bulls need to make it into the playoffs is to stay ahead of the Condors.  The recent losses represent a disheartening slide for a team that was just starting to find ways to win.   Before the slide, they had won four of five games, two of those against Ontario’s only serious rival: the Alaska Aces. Continue reading

The Bulls lose to Idaho and Guimond is on his way to Worcester

The Bulls fell to the Idaho Steelheads last night, 2-1.  The Bulls took an early lead, but Idaho outshot them through the game so it wasn’t a terribly surprising outcome.   What was surprising was how composed the Bulls looked, despite the condition of their roster.

Tarasov and Tam have gone to Worcester, Crescenzi and Devane went back to Toronto, Viedensky is still injured… add to that, several players had flu symptoms.  They had every excuse to really fall apart.  Yet the game was a good, balanced, defensive game with neither team giving the other a lot of room.  Of the team’s performance, Alternate Captain Scott Langdon said:

I think we had good possession in their end, I think we had a good forecheck.  Sometimes you just can’t put the puck in the net for whatever reason… It’d be different if we spent the whole game in our own end but we didn’t so we just have to move on to the next one. 

……..More

Sacha Guimond was loaned to Worcester today, so that leaves another hole in the Bulls defense.  That hole will be even bigger as Scott Langdon was suspended for last night’s hit on Idaho’s Mathieu Tousignant:

@GackleReport: “Tough times for @SFBulls blue line. Tam called up, Guimond called up, Langdon suspended two games for last night’s hit”

The hit was penalized as illegal contact with the head and resulted in a five minute major penalty and a match penalty for Langdon.  The Bulls were able to kill that penalty off, which made the loss that much more frustrating.  Their penalty kill performed very well throughout the game, not giving up a single power play goal.

Marek Viedensky’s recovery is coming along more slowly than anticipated, but imaging this week showed progress.  Thomas Heemskerk is healing from his abdominal surgery but can’t be rushed, as coach Pat Curcio explained:

He’s got the stitches out now, but he’s about a week away because he’s a goaltender, they want to take every precaution… He’s about a week away from resuming some excercise.  We should know more prior to the All Star break, about ten days.

The Bulls signed forward Colin Reddin, and no doubt are in the process of finding another defenseman as well.

A curious coincidence: by adding Guimond, the Worcester Sharks now have two of the top three scoring defensemen from the ECHL on their team.   The other is Denny Urban, who has been up and down a couple of times this season.  Of course it also means that none of those three are in the ECHL for now as the scoring leader, Ben Youds, has been called up to the AHL too.

Worcester has now added a total of three defensemen and two forwards this week.  The team will play in a few minutes, and the scratches list has grown:

@210Darryl: “Scratches for the #WorSharks: Groulx, Doherty,  Tennyson,  Acolatse,  Sheppard, Gourde, Irwin, Kennedy, Rissmiller, Tam, Bonneau.”

There are a lot of injured players in there, but the pending NHL CBA approval must have some players waiting to get on a plane for the short training camp next week in San Jose.

(Originally published at Kukla’s Korner)

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Bulls’ winning streak against Thunder ends in San Jose

Last night, the Sharks’ ECHL affiliates, past and present, met in San Jose.  They have met before, many times, but this was a new experience for both of them.

It was bound to happen, the Stockton Thunder was unlikely to keep losing to the San Francisco Bulls.  When two teams meet as often as these do, they will figure each other out and the team that has lost the first three matches will probably find a way to win one.  The teams will have a chance to get to know each other even better- they have nine more games to play.  It’s just too bad for the Bulls that their first loss to Stockton happened in San Jose.  The final score was 6-4 Stockton.

The Bulls had a day to rest after a quick but rough road trip.  From Thursday’s OT win against Stockton, they rode to Ontario to be brutally defeated Friday, then drove back north to Bakersfield to win handily Saturday night. Continue reading

Bulls finish 4 at home, score 4 to win

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.  

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A big win for the San Francisco Bulls

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.

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