DALY CITY, Calif. – The San Francisco Bulls celebrated the essence of the holidays with 3,228 fans, wearing an ugly sweater jersey, green with a red band, adorned with trees and reindeer. The sweaters were to be auctioned following the game against the Thunder. This would be the first of five games in a row, beginning at the Cow Palace, then to Stockton for three and back home again. These two teams are scheduled to face-off 15 times this season.
Only 40 seconds into the first period, Garet Hunt and Kalvin Sagert went toe-to-toe, ultimately resulting in a five-minute boarding major and 10-minute game misconduct issued to Hunt, in addition to the five for fighting to each. Stockton’s penalty kill unit stepped up to the challenge, this time. However, a hooking penalty on Ben Rosen gave the Bulls another power play opportunity, in which they capitalized. Adrian Foster beat Parker Milner stick-side after deflecting a rebound. Dean Ouellet and Steven Tarasuk were credited on the assists.
The Thunder roared back in the second period, at the 6:03 mark, when Shawn Boutin wristed a shot past Tyler Beskorowany into the Bulls net. The goal was assisted by Lee Baldwin and Matt Bergland. Stockton led in shots on goal during the period 19-8, but the tables were turned in the third period, when the Bulls outshot Stockton 15-8.
It would be the man advantage opportunities that would seal the game. Dale Mitchell’s high-sticking minor was only three seconds from being over, when Cory Trivino struck giving the Thunder the 2-1 lead. The Bulls rallied scoring four more goals before the final buzzer.
Tyler Gron scored seven seconds into a Ryan Constant minor penalty at 11:27. Then Jordan Morrison slipped the puck past Milner only 33 seconds later for the 3-2 lead.
At 12:55, Dale Mitchell and Ryan Constant were involved in a quick altercation, in which Mitchell went down hard after a single blow, then Scott Langdon came in to finish the battle. The extra five minutes went to Stockton, and Luke Judson scored at 15:40 to extend the Bulls’ lead 4-2. Morrison sealed the game, with an empty net goal, his second goal of the game, and sixth on the season.
Bulls coach, Pat Curcio was happy with his teams’ performance.
“I thought the guys did well tonight. We had some opportunities on the power play, which the guys had to capitalize. [Stockton] took some undisciplined penalties there. I was happy with way the guys responded, especially after going down 2-1, then come back and do what they did. There’s a lot of character in that dressing room tonight.”
Beskorowany had 35 saves for the win, in his tenth win for the season. Milner posted 28 saves in the loss.
The two teams will travel to Stockton for two more games, Saturday and Sunday.