The Bulls come up just short as they fall two to one to the Alaska Aces. The Bulls got a great performance in the net last night as Thomas Heemskerk had 43 saves on the night. Despite Heemskerks’s heroics the Bulls offense was unable to provide support as the impressive Yanni Gourde had the Bulls’ only goal. The Bulls went zero for four on the man advantage as they drop below a four percent power play conversion rate over their last seven games. Alex Hudson and Chris Clackson each scored a goal for the Aces. Mark Guggenberger saved 30 of the 31 shots put on net by the Bulls. The Bulls are now 2-5 against Alaska on the year.
The first period was all Aces as they jumped on the Bulls from the drop. The flooded the Bulls defense zone and poured a ton of pucks at the net. Thomas Heemskerk was extremely impressive the in period as he kept doing his job and keeping the Bulls afloat during the Aces’ onslaught. He almost escaped unscathed, but the Aces would get the breakthrough with a late goal before the end of the period. Alex Hudson beat Heemskerk over his glove to give the Aces an early lead. The Aces would out shoot the Bulls 22 to 10.
The Bulls would push back in the second as they were able to build some momentum in the offensive zone. The second would get a little energy flowing from both as Scott Langdon and Chris Clackson dropped the mitts and squared off. The Bulls would get their first power play midway through the period, they would not get the goal but it would go towards them finding some offensive flow. They would get their answer just a couple minutes following the penalty. Yanni Gourde would net he second as he put away a scramble at the top of the crease. Bryan Cameron and Tristan King combined for credit on the assists. Thomas Heemskerk would carry on his hot play as he stopped all 10 shots he faced in the second. The Bulls out shot the Aces 12 to 10.
With both teams on equal footing following the Bulls’ equalizer in the second they both went searching for the game winner. The Bulls would get an early power play due to the Aces taking a delay of game penalty. The Bulls were unable to get anything working as the Aces shut the door. The Bulls would get their chance on the penalty kill when they were called for too many men on the ice. The Bulls was up to the task as they killed off the second power play chance by the Aces. The relief would be short lived as the Aces took the lead midway through. Chris Clackson would put back a rebound left by Heemskerk for his 14th goal on the season. Clackson would give the Bulls their final chance on the man advantage just a couple minutes later, but the Bulls power play would be powerless again as the Aces preserved their one goal lead. The Aces would out shoot the Bulls 13 to nine on the period and 45 to 31 on the game.
The Bulls again squandered an exceptional performance in goal. Thomas Heemskerk was magnificent as he stopped 43 of the 45 shots he faced in the game. Alaska dominated possession of the puck for most of the game and Heemskerk played a major role in keeping the Bulls in the game. The Bulls offensive again had a rough night as Yanni Gourde had the only Bulls’ goal on the night. Bryan Cameron and Tristan King combined for the assists on the goal. The Bulls power play was again unable to provide a spark as they went scoreless on four chances. They had double the chances of the Aces, but were unable to get that crucial goal to provide Heemskerk with some support. The Bulls fall to 21-32-7 but are still just five points behind Utah with 12 games left to play, while the Aces maintain their first place lead by improving to 44-12-6. These two teams meet again Friday and Saturday as they wrap up their three game set in San Francisco.
- Thomas Heemskerk – San Francisco
- Chris Clackson – Alaska
- Yanni Gourde – San Francisco