The Bulls travel to Boise to take on the Idaho Steelheads in the first of a back to back in Idaho. The Bulls sit two points behind the seventh place Utah Grizzlies at 18-24-7 and the Idaho Steelheads are currently in third in the West with a record of 31-13-5. The Bulls are coming off a weekend split with the Bakersfield Condors that saw the Bulls fall four to two on Sunday behind a 40 save effort from the Condors’ Brian Stewart. Peter Sivak led the Bulls with two goals, which puts him in a tie for the team lead with Dean Ouellet with 23 goals. Idaho has been playing well as of late with a recent run of five wins in their last seven game. The Bulls also welcome back defense man Mikael Tam, who was on loan to Worcester. The Bulls are tied with the Steelheads at 1-1 in the season series.
The Bulls are coming off a tough loss as they dominated play for the majority of the game but they just ran into a hot goalie and got poor goalie play. On the bright side, the Bulls continue to get scoring from their top scorers as Peter Sivak added two goals to give him 23 on the season. Sivak now also leads the ECHL in shots with 192 as he remains aggressive and continues to drive play. Dean Ouellet has nine points in his last 10 games, but the hottest Bull has been newcomer Cody Carlson. Carlson has an impressive 11 points in his last 10 games. The top unit recently has been the penalty kill as they have killed off 74 of their last 82, including 22 straight going into tonight’s game. Scott Langdon was named captain as the Bulls have been without one following their trade of Justin Bowers. Dean Ouellet was named alternate captain taking Langdon’s spot.
The Steelheads have been on a roll recently as they won five of their last seven contests. Their offense has been their key factor to their success all season as they average 3.96 goals per game, which is the best in the entire league. The Steelheads are led by forwards Tristan King and Sam Carrick, 34 and 31 points respectively. Also Tyler Gron has 13 points in his last 10 games, including seven goals. The Steelheads’ power play is extremely dangerous as they boast the second best unit in the league as they convert 23.6 percent of their chances. Idaho goalie Josh Robinson is coming off a 34 shot shutout as he continues to have a solid season. The Idaho penalty kill is not the most successful as they kill of 81.6 percent of the chances they face, but they are an aggressive unit that is tied for the league lead in short handed goals for with 10.
The Bulls are going to be in trouble if they start out slow again as the Steelheads put up goals in bunches. They cannot afford to dig themselves in the hole they found themselves in lately. Special teams could be the factor in tonight’s game as one of the best on the man advantage take on one of the hottest teams with a man down. The Bulls will have to be guarded on their power play chances as they have been bitten by short handed goals all season and they face one of the deadliest units in the league.