The Bulls drop a close one to the rival Thunder that was decided in a shoot out. The Bulls were dominated throughout the contest as the Thunder controlled, but managed to capitalize on the opportunities that they were given as they battled to come away with at least a point in the standings. Bulls goalie Taylor Nelson deserves all the credit for the Bulls having a chance in tonight’s contest as he was under fire all night. The Thunder racked up 45 shots on the Bulls’ goalie, but Nelson stood tall as he stopped 42 of the shots on his net. The Bulls were led on offense by Cody Carlson as he had two points on the night, both coming by way of the assist.
The Bulls could not have asked for a worse start to a game than they had tonight. They came in riding the momentum from their series win over the first place Aces, but that confidence evaporated quickly as the Thunder struck just 30 seconds into the game. Gabriel Levesque scored the early go ahead goal with Shawn Boutin on the assist. The first period was pretty chippy as both teams combined for nine penalties in the first alone, including two fights as Martin Lee squared off with Garret Hunt, Kris Belan took on Ryan Green. Both teams would get ample power play opportunities as they combined for five power plays in the period. It would be the Eric Hunter high sticking penalty that would lead to a five on three power play for the Bulls. Rob Kwiet would knot the game up at one a piece with his eighth goal of the season with Cody Carlson and Peter Sivak getting credit for the assists. The Thunder out shot the Bulls 11 to eight in the period.
The Thunder would do their best to try and take over the game in the second period as they put all the pressure on a staggering Bulls’ team. It was much of the same as the Thunder opened the scoring in the second period. Tony DeHart would put the Thunder ahead with a goal at the tail end of a Hans Benson hooking minor. The Thunder would not hold that lead for very long as the Bulls charged back. Dean Ouellet netted his 20th goal of the season as he beat Thunder goalie Cody Reichard to tie the game. Alex Tuckerman had the assist on the Ouellet goal. The Bulls would not be finished there as just 17 seconds later they would make the score three to two as the other Ouellet, Christian, would net his 12th of the season. Cody Carlson would get his second assist of the game and Dylan King would get credit too. Taylor Nelson played an exceptional second period as he kept the Bulls close by stopping 17 of the 18 shots he faced in the period. The Thunder dominated the shot chart as they out shot the Bulls 18 to six.
The Bulls would face a ton of offensive pressure as they tried to maintain the lead from the surging Thunder. The Thunder would strike quickly again as they tie the game just two minutes into the third period. Thunder alternate captain Ryan Constant would tie the game with fifth goal of the year. Nelson would again be called upon as he stopped 13 of 14 shots to give the Bulls a chance to win the game in overtime. Thunder out shot the Bulls 14 to seven.
The overtime period would provide both team ample opportunities to win the game as both teams each had a turn on the power play. Neither team would capitalize as the game remained tied sending it to the shoot out. The Bulls out shot the Thunder five to two in the extra period. Thunder out shot the Bulls 46 to 26 on the night.
Stockton Shoots First. Best of five.
STK- Yannick Riendeau, Goal
SF- Jonathan Lessard, No Goal
STK – Maxime Boisclaire, Goal
SF – Peter Sivak, No Goal
STK – Eric Hunter, No Goal
SF – Dean Ouellet, No Goal
STK – Harrison Reed, Goal
SF – Not Needed
5th Rd: Not Needed
The Bulls lack of puck possession was the main key to tonight’s loss. They should have won tonight’s game, but they gave the Thunder too many opportunities to try and capitalize on. The Bulls would have been blown out in the game if not for the effort of Taylor Nelson, who was the star of the team tonight. Nelson has been exceptional over the last six games as he has stopped 192 of 205 shots faced for a .937 save percentage and a 2.2 goals against average. Christian Ouellet now has four goals in his last four games. Dean Ouellet’s 20th goal now has him tied for the team lead with Peter Sivak. The Bulls fall to 17-21-6, while Stockton goes to 23-16-8. The Bulls are now 5-2-1 against Stockton on the season. The Bulls will return home tomorrow to take on the team with the second best record in the league in the Ontario Reign.
- Yannick Riendeau – Stockton
- Ryan Constant – Stockton
- Cody Carlson – San Francisco