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


Bulls Drown Out the Thunder 7-2

For the first time this season, the San Francisco Bulls scored seven goals, and won by five.  The victims of this scoring binge were the Stockton Thunder.  One game can make a point.  Two games doesn’t make a pattern, but a line from Sunday’s 4-1 win to Wednesday’s 7-2 win leads to the question: how far can these Bulls go?  The Bulls have scored as many as six goals in a game before, but rarely with such a voracious offensive appetite.   Quite simply, they ran away with the game and looked ready to keep going if the final buzzer hadn’t stopped them.

Wednesday’s game plan was not an ambitious one: survive the first ten minutes and go from there.  In their losses to Stockton, the Bulls were frequently overwhelmed by the Thunder’s quick starts, putting them down by one or two goals before they knew it. No one wants to hear that a team plans to merely survive the first ten minutes of a game, but it was a good plan. Stockton did take an early lead, when Ryan Hayes scored 5:57 into the first. Then, as if they had been waiting for the critical ten minutes to pass, the Bulls went on the attack and finished that first period up by two goals. Kory Falite, Nick Walsh and Peter Sivak all scored in under three minutes. Continue reading

The Bulls Lose a Weekend in Vegas

The San Francisco Bulls lost both games in Las Vegas this weekend.  The team took too many penalties and were outshot in both games.  Friday, they lost 2-1, and despite a good push in the third period, were outshot 24-22.  Instead of improving on Sunday, the Bulls lost 6-2 and were outshot 46-28.  It was a disappointing end to a long road trip in which the Bulls only picked up four points in six games.

The Friday game started out well.  At the tail end of the Bulls’ first penalty kill, Yanni Gourde gave the Bulls a lead with a short-handed goal. It would be their only goal of the night, but far from their last penalty. In all, the Bulls were short-handed six times.

Las Vegas tied the game during an extended penalty that resulted from a boarding major assigned defenseman Mikael Tam.  Matching double roughing minors were assigned at the same time to Dylan King and the Wranglers’ Andrew Sarauer. That left the Bulls to kill four of the five minutes down two defensemen.  They were three seconds shy of killing the five minute major off when Sean Wiles scored. Continue reading

Bulls Chase the Eagles Down

Despite playing for the second time in two nights, the San Francisco Bulls chased the Colorado Eagles down to win in a shootout.  The Bulls never led on the scoreboard, but tied the game four times during regulation.  The win kept them four points behind the Utah Grizzlies, who also won in a shootout Wednesday, and stretched their lead over the Bakersfield Condors to eight points.

The last time the San Francisco Bulls met the Colorado Eagles was in January, a pair of games that the teams split in San Francisco.  Both were one goal games, one was a shootout loss for the Bulls. Continue reading

ECHL Reign @ Bulls, November 10

After their last meeting, there was reason to doubt the San Francisco Bulls’ chances against the Ontario Reign.  During the first 8 minutes, the Bulls didn’t spend a lot of time outside their end of the ice. That turned out to be the case for most of the game.  Thomas Heemskerk wasn’t going to have an easy time of it in his second game in two nights.  To his credit, he held up better than the rest of the team.

The first penalty was booed roundly before being announced, a tripping penalty against the Bulls’ Clendenning. The Bulls killed that off and celebrated with a brief offensive rush, only to be pushed back again. The Bulls didn’t give the Reign a lot of room to set up their offense, but they couldn’t organize an attack of their own.  Frantic passes off the glass went to opposing players, missed passes turned to icing.

With half of the first period gone, the Bulls only had one shot to the Reign’s 7.  The Reign scored two goals, just over 30 seconds apart.  The Bulls took another penalty and killed it off but didn’t manage to get another short until the second period.

Continue reading