Bulls Game Day Preview
San Francisco Bulls (16-20-1-4, seventh place (tied), Western Conference) at
Alaska Aces (31-11-0-2), first place, Western Conference)
By Gabe Schapiro
When: Saturday, January 26 at 8:15 pm PT
Where: Sullivan Arena
Tonight’s Matchup: The San Francisco Bulls (16-20-1-4) remain in Anchorage to face the Alaska Aces (31-11-0-2) for the second game of this three game weekend series. This is the fifth of nine matchups between the two this season. Last night the Bulls scored their first win of the season against the Aces with a final score of 5-2. The season series now sits at 3-1-0-0 in Alaska’s favor.
Tonight, the Bulls will look to continue to build on their three-game win streak after last night’s impressive win over the top team in the Western Conference. Over the first two periods the two teams traded goals, with the Bulls’ Rob Kwiet striking first at 9:25 in the first period, assisted by Christian Ouellet and Rylan Galiardi. The Aces quickly responded with an equalizer just two minutes later. At 9:39 in the second period the Bulls once again took the lead when Christian Ouellet scored his first goal in a Bulls uniform, receiving assists from Alex Tuckerman and Jordan Morrison. Late in the second period the Aces once again tied up the game. Entering the third period locked in a stalemate at two goals apiece, the Bulls dominated, putting the game away with three unanswered goals from Jordan Clendenning, C. Ouellet’s second of the night, and finally Cody Carlson with an empty-netter.
The newcomers continue to add a spark to the Bulls lineup. Last night Sebastian Trudeau and Galiardi both notched assists, Carlson added his second goal in as many games, and C. Ouellet led the way with his first two goals as a Bull. On the backend, Rob Kwiet contributed another strong game with a goal, his seventh, and an assist, his 20th. His 27 points rank third in the ECHL among defensemen. To further bolster their improved defense, on Friday, the Bulls announced the signing of defenseman Martin Lee, who rejoins the team after a stint in Germany.
Goalie Taylor Nelson, who has taken over in the absence of Thomas Heemskerk, has really settled into a groove. Over his past three games he has gone 3-0 with a 2.00 GAA, stopping 79 of 85 shots, good for a 0.929 save percentage. Thanks in part to Nelson’s strong play, the Bulls have displayed a much improved penalty kill unit of late. Over their past 10 games they have successfully killed 88.9% of the chances they’ve faced.
Alaska continues to lead the Western Conference with 64 points, just one point ahead of the Ontario Reign. The Bulls remain tied for seventh place, with the Utah Grizzlies at 37 points, four points behind the Las Vegas Wranglers, and nine points ahead of the last place Bakersfield Condors.
The Bulls wrap up their weekend series against the Aces tomorrow evening at 4:05 pm Pacific Time. The Bulls return home next Thursday, the last thirsty Thursday of the season. On Thursday, January 31, the Bulls host the Ontario Reign at 7:15 pm at the Cow Palace. At select concessions, 12-ounce draft domestic beers are half off.
Goals: Peter Sivak, Dean Ouellet – 18
Assists: Rob Kwiet – 20
Points: Peter Sivak – 37
Plus/Minus: Scott Langdon – +16
PIM: Kris Belan – 105
Wins: Thomas Heemskerk – 11
GAA: Bryan Hince – 2.81
Save %: Bryan Hince – 0.916
Shutouts: Bryan Hince – 1
Peter Sivak – 12 points (8g, 4a) in the past 10 games
Jordan Morrison – 11 points (4g, 7a) in the past 10 games
01/25/2013 Martin Lee (D) ADD Signed to SPC
01/24/2013 Jesse Todd (F) DEL Traded to Trenton
01/22/2013 Joe Tolles (D) DEL Traded to Cincinnati
01/20/2013 Marek Viedensky (F) DEL Reassigned by San Jose (NHL) to Worcester (AHL)
Goals: Nick Mazzolini – 24
Assists: Alexandre Imbeault, Garry Nunn – 21
Points: Nick Mazzolini – 43
Plus/Minus: Kane Lafranchise, Corey Syvret – +10
PIM: Chris Clackson – 132
Wins: Mark Guggenberger – 16
GAA: Mark Guggenberger – 2.26
Save %: Mark Guggenberger – 0.912
Shutouts: Mark Guggenberger – 3
Recent Alaska Transactions
01/21/2013 B.J. Crum (D) ADD Signed to SPC
01/18/2013 Mike Baran (D) ADD Signed to SPC
01/18/2013 Samson Mahbod (RW) ADD Signed to SPC
01/18/2013 Shawn Skelly (F) ADD Signed to SPC
01/15/2013 Alain Goulet (D) DEL Traded to Orlando
Nick Mazzolini – 8 points (4g, 4a) in the past 10 games
Bobby Hughes – 7 points (1g, 6a) in the past 10 games