SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – The San Francisco Bulls Professional Hockey Team, proud affiliate of the San Jose Sharks, officially brought pro ice hockey back to the Cow Palace with its first preseason game in team history. A crowd of 4,836 saw the Bulls fall to the Stockton Thunder 5-4 in overtime on Wednesday night.
An electric atmosphere on hand welcomed the inaugural 2012-13 SF Bulls team onto the ice, and they didn’t disappoint. Just 1:54 into the game, Bulls forward Scott Langdon dropped the gloves with Stockton’s Garet Hunt. The fans were on their feet as Langdon acknowledged them as he headed to the penalty box.
The Bulls opened the scoring at 5:38 of the opening frame. Center Justin Bowers tipped home a point shot by Chris Frank. After scoring, Bowers skated to the glass and created a bulls horn sign with his hand over his head towards the crowd. The Bulls took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
In the second period, Kris Belan dropped a no-look, behind-the-back pass to defenseman Chris Frank, who slipped a shot by goaltender Jimmy Spratt for a 2-0 Bulls lead at 6:23 of the second period. However, the Thunder struck three times in 1:59 in the second period on goals by Harrison Reed, Evan Mackintosh and Phil Mangan to take a 3-2 lead.
The Bulls would not give in, tying the game at three on a goal with 5:25 left in the second period by defenseman Sacha Guimond. Peter Sivak earned the assist on the tally. The Thunder regained the lead on Reed’s second goal with less than a minute remaining in the second period.
While on the power play in the third period, Bowers knotted the score at four, once again saluting the crowd with his bulls sign. The time of the goal was 9:57. The teams headed into overtime even at four.
Less than a minute into overtime, Bulls defenseman Trevor Hendrikx received a five minute major penalty. At the 41 second mark, Gabriele Levesque scored against Taylor Nelson for the Thunder’s game-winner.
The Bulls return to action in their final preseason game on Friday, October 5 in Colorado against the Eagles. Puck drops at 6:05 pm. You can catch the game live on KNBR.com. The Bulls then return home for their Home Opener on October 12 at 7:15 at the Cow Palace. Get your tickets today by calling 855-SF-BULLS.
SF Bulls Season Tickets start at less than $12 a seat and include the first four games of the Kelly Cup Playoffs, savings on parking and special invitations to “Meet The Team” and Chalk Talk Events. Individual tickets are now on sale. Click here to find out more or call 415-469-9843.
About the ECHL:
The ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states. Today, the league has 23 teams in 16 states. The ECHL celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2012-13 and is the third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League. The ECHL has had 234 players reach the NHL over the last seven seasons. It’s the primary developmental league for the NHL and the AHL. On opening day of the 2011-12 season, 83 former ECHL players were on NHL rosters. The ECHL teams are divided into the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. All teams play a 72-game schedule. For more information please visit http://www.echl.com/