San Francisco Bulls v Las Vegas Wranglers March 1, 2013 - photo courtesy of Stephen Sylvanie via the Las Vegas Sun web page - lasvegassun.com

Bulls Struggle On Special Teams As They Fall 2-1 To Wranglers: Game Recap


The Bulls drop a defensive showdown to the Las Vegas Wranglers. The Bulls are only able to get one and get burned on the power play twice as they fall two to one. Yanni Gourde had the Bulls’ only goal as he opened the scoring with a short handed goal in the first. The Wranglers answered back with a power play goal in the first and another in the second. The Bulls penalty struggled tonight as they allowed two goals on six power play chances and then went zero for four on their own power play chances. Thomas Heemskerk played well by stopping 22 of 24 shots he faced.

First Period:

The Bulls would struggle with the their discipline in the period as they would take several penalties giving the Wranglers plenty of chances on the power play. Dean Ouellet would take the first penalty of the game giving Las Vegas an early power play opportunity. The Bulls would strike shorthanded as Yanni Gourde would net his first goal with the Bulls as they convert on the odd man rush. The Bulls would go back on the penalty kill as Mikael Tam would take a boarding major forcing the Bulls to kill off five full minutes of power play time. The Bulls would almost get away unscathed as the Wranglers would capitalize at the back end of the penalty. Sean Wiles would tip a shot past Heemskerk to knot the game at one with his 20th goal of the season. The Bulls would again go on the penalty following the goal as Peter Sivak took a tripping minor. The Bulls penalty kill would redeem themselves as they killed off the fourth power play of the period. The Wranglers out shot the Bulls nine to three in the period.

Second Period:

The second period would be much of the same as the first as the Bulls would get themselves into penalty trouble again. The second period would see an early bout as Jordan Clendenning would drop the gloves with Channing Boe. Shortly after Dean Ouellet would give the Wranglers their fifth power play of the game. It would take the Wranglers only 31 seconds to take the lead as the score on the man advantage. Adam Hughesman would beat Heemskerk for his 11th goal of the season and giving the Wranglers their first lead of the game. The Bulls would get a power play shortly following the goal, but again the power play would be unable to get anything going. The Bulls would again go on the penalty mid way through the period, but this time they would keep it a one goal as they killed off the penalty. Scott Langdon would drop the gloves with Robbie Smith for the second fight of the period. The Wranglers out shot the Bulls eight to seven.

Third Period:

The Bulls would make a push in the third as they try to tie the game back up. They would get plenty of solid scoring chances in the third. They would get three power play chances in the final 11 minutes, but would be unable to capitalize as Joe Fallon would stop all 12 Bulls shots as he preserved the one goal advantage as the Wranglers take the game. The Bulls out shot the Wranglers 12 to seven in the period, the Wranglers out shot the Bulls 24 to 22 on the game.

The Bulls lack of success on special teams was the difference in this game. Undisciplined play by the Bulls gave the Wranglers six power play chances, including four chances in the first period alone. The dodge a bullet early in the game when they converted shorthanded to take an early lead. Their success would not last long as they would get burned mid way through the first with the Wranglers getting a goal on the man advantage. The Wranglers again would victimize the Bulls penalty kill with a goal early in the second that would be the difference in the game. On the other side, the Bulls power play unit continued to struggle as they could not convert on any of their four chances, with three of those chances coming in the final 11 minutes of the game. The Bulls need to find a way to spark the power play unit and convert on the chances they are giving if they want to find success in the late part of the season. Thomas Heemskerk played well as he stopped 22 shots and both goals allowed came on the power play. The Bulls fall to 21-30-7, while the Wranglers improve to 29-23-5. These two teams will take Saturday off and face off again on Sunday at 2:05 pm as the Bulls wrap up their road trip.

Three Stars:

  1. Adam Hughesman – Las Vegas
  2. Sean Wiles – Las Vegas
  3. Yanni Gourde – San Francisco

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Tags: ECHL Las Vegas Wranglers San Francisco Bulls