Taylor Nelson stops Francis Verreault
DALY CITY, Calif. – Coming into Saturday night’s contest, the SF Bulls (17-23-1-6) had won five of the eight games played thus far against their Pacific division rival Bakersfield Condors (14-23-2-3). The Bulls head-to-head advantage over Bakersfield represented the majority of the eight point advantage they held over Bakersfield in the Pacific Division standings coming in to tonight’s game. The Bulls used those circumstances along with a desire to erase a tough shootout loss to Ontario the previous night as motivation for a big win tonight. The first period began as a tough checking, hard skating affair. Both teams earned good scoring opportunities, but were unable to convert those opportunities into goals. Excellent goaltending was also a contributing factor in what became a scoreless first 20 minutes of hockey.
The second period looked as if it too would conclude scoreless as both teams were again held off the score sheet for nearly half the period. The Bulls would eventually earn themselves a 5-on-3 power play opportunity and Rob Kwiet struck for a goal on a hard well placed shot at the 8:22 mark. Dean Ouellet and Cody Carlson earned assists on the Kwiet goal.
The Bulls doubled their lead early in the third on a Marek Viedensky rebound goal at 2:45 to make it 2-0. Kwiet earned another point with an assist on the play as he had taken the initial shot. After the Bulls second goal, the Condors seemed to turn up the energy on their bench and found a little pushback and determination in their game. The result was a predictable goal at 5:39 from Jake Morley, as the ice seemed to be tilted in Bakersfield’s favor for several minutes of play. Brett Perlini and Jacob Legacy collected the assists to help put the Condors right back in a tight contest.
Jordan Morrison watches Rob Kwiet%27s shot beat Condors Goalie Brian Stewart
The Bulls regained their two goal lead at 9:24 on a nice shot from Jordan Morrison. Kris Belan and Jordan Clendenning collected assists on what was a big third goal for the teal clad Bulls. Big, because it gave the Bulls a bit of a cushion to work with and allowed them to focus on chipping pucks up and out of their end and then deep behind the Bakersfield defense while the clock ran down. The Bulls came back with an excellent bounce back victory tonight after a disappointing shootout loss to Ontario on Friday. A stellar 34 save effort from Bulls net minder Taylor Nelson, scoring the near mandatory goal with the 5-on-3 advantage, back to back PK’s early in the second and outshooting Bakersfield 15 – 7 in the final stanza all combined for the well deserved 3-1 win.
Jake Morley scores Bakersfield%27s only goal
There was an added special element to tonight’s contest. For the first time in team history the Bulls wore something other than their traditional home white or road orange jersey. Instead, the team wore a Sharks themed specialty jersey to recognize and celebrate their affiliation with the NHL San Jose Sharks. The Bulls will wear these special teal jerseys again for the Sunday Matinee. A combination of silent and live auctions will be held during and after both games against Bakersfield this weekend with the proceeds going to charity. The Bulls will complete the weekend series finale with Bakersfield in a Sunday matinee at the Cow Palace. Puck drop is slated for 2:15 PM.
Contact the writer at Randy.Thompson@prohockeynews.com
Contact the photographer at Jack.Lima@prohockeynews.com
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