The San Francisco Bulls took on the Idaho Steelheads at the Cow Palace in Daly City. The Bulls played a great game defensively holding the Steelheads to just two goals, but they were unable to muster much offense as Steelheads goalie Tyler Beskorowany was stout as he stopped 29 of 30 shots on goal. Peter Sivak maintained his hot streak as he netted his 10th point in his last 11 games.
The Bulls were able to play a pretty solid defensive first period. The Bulls were given an early power play as Scott Todd took an early hooking penalty, but the Bulls were unable to capitalize on the power play opportunity. The lone Steelhead power play came on a Hans Benson boarding penalty. That was followed by offsetting penatlies as a roughing penalty called was on Benson and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty called on Scott Todd. The Bulls minimized the damaged as they held the Steelheads scoreless after the man advantage. The Bulls took the lead late in the period as Peter Sivak scored his 14th goal of the season. A holding penalty by Matt Case at the end of the period gave the Bulls the chance to start the second period on the power play. The shot totals after the first period were seven shots for the Bulls and eight shots for the Steelheads.
The Bulls really came out flying at the start of the second as they started the period due to the power play. They had strong puck possession and a lot offensive pressure as they had a couple of near miss opportunities to try and go up two to nothing. Simon Denis-Pepin took a tripping penalty to prevent a near break away by Tristan King. This managed to wake up the dormant Steelheads as they took charge in the second period. Bulls goalie, Taylor Nelson, had a strong second period as he managed to the stem the oncoming wave of Steelheads. Nelson’s shutout attempt come to a close at the 18:27 mark of the second when David de Kastrozza managed to sneak one over Nelson’s shoulder for his ninth goal of the season. Shortly after a controversial hit by Scott Langdon on Mathieu Tousignant led to a scrap as Sam Carrick took offense to the hit. Both Langdon and Carrick were given fighting majors, while Langdon was given an additional five minute major match penalty and ejected for the illegal hit to the head of Tousignant. The surging Steelheads had a 21 to 15 shot total lead after out shooting the Bulls 13 to 8 in the second period.
The third period was a tale of two different halves. The Steelheads came on strong with the advantage from the five minute power play by the Langdon match penalty. The Bulls battled as the Steelheads brought a lot of offensive pressure, but the Bulls managed to kill off the power play without surrendering the go ahead goal. All that effort would be for nothing as the Steelheads pulled ahead around the seven minute mark as Tristan King managed to flip one over the shoulder of Nelson for his 13th on the season. Two minutes later the Steelheads were back on the power play as the Bulls took another penalty. Another great effort by the Bulls penalty kill as they held the Steelheads scoreless on their power play yet again. Back at even strength the Bulls offensive pressure finally found its footing as the Bulls powered into the Steelheads’ zone pouring on shot after shot with quite a few scoring opportunities. The Bulls last chance came on a Steelheads delay of game penalty, but Steelhead goalie Tyler Beskorowany was up to the task as he stood on his head for the final three minutes as he shut the door on the Bulls. Bulls out shot the Steelheads 15 to 10 in the final frame.
The Bulls had all kinds of opportunities to take control of this game, but again too many penalties was their downfall as it allowed the Steelheads to ramp up the offensive pressure and keep the puck out of their zone. The Bulls penalty kill unit deserves praise on the evening for their effort to kill off all four of the Steelheads power plays, including the five minute major at the end of the second and the beginning of the third. The Bulls fall to 13-13-5 on the year. The final game of the home stand is on Sunday, January 3 as the Bakersfield Condors travel to the cow palace.
- Tristan King – Idaho
- Tyler Beskorowany – Idaho
- Peter Sivak – San Francisco