Alaska's Kane Lafranchise, left, and San Francisco's Kory Falite work for the puck. The Aces played the San Francisco Bulls in the game two of the first round of ECHL playoffs on Saturday, April 6, 2013. Marc Lester — Anchorage Daily News

Bulls Steal Game Two To Even Up The Series: Game Recap


The Bulls were able to sneak by Alaska as they stole game two in Alaska to even the series up at one game apiece. The Bulls recorded their first ever shut out playoff victory and first playoff victory in team history with as they took this game one to nothing. Kory Falite was the hero as he scored the game’s only goal early in the third. The Bulls’ penalty kill unit was spectacular as they killed off all seven of Alaska’s chances. Thomas Heemskerk played a major role in the penalty kill’s success with an outstanding performance turning aside all 32 shots he faced. The Bulls have some momentum as they head into game three next week.

First Period:

The first period would be a lot like game one as the Aces would maintain the majority of the puck possession. The Aces would get the first great chance of the game when Thomas Heemkerk would take a delay of game penalty to give the Aces the first power play of the game. The Bulls’ penalty kill would do a stellar job shutting down the Aces on the power play as they held them without a single shot. Shortly after the conclusion of a penalty, the Bulls would get their shot on the power play. They would stay ice cold with the Aces easily killing off the penalty. The Aces would get another power play right after the Bulls’ chance. The penalty kill unit stepped up again as they held the Aces off the scoreboard. The Aces out shot the Bulls 11 to five in the first.

Second Period:

The second period would be a lot like the first with power plays a plenty for each team. The Bulls would get the first power play early in the period, but they would cancel it out with their own penalty just six seconds later. Jus

t 26 seconds later they would take another penalty to make it a four on three advantage for Alaska. The Aces would nearly convert as a shot would ring off the post, but the Bulls would manage to kill off the penalty. The Bulls would kill off two more powers play before the period would end. Heemskerk was phenomenal turning away all 16 shots in the period. The Aces out shot the Bulls 16 to seven in the second.

Third Period:

Both teams would be looking for the breakthrough goal in the final frame. The Bulls would strike first five minutes into the period. Kory Falite would stuff home a rebound from a Dean Ouellet shot for his first goal of the series. Ouellet and Brett Findley would combine for the assists on the goal. The Aces would get two power play chances following the Falite goal, but the penalty kill stayed strong as they again held the Aces with out a shot on both of their power plays. The Aces would hamper their ability to comeback with a late too many men on the ice penalty. Heemskerk would stay stout as he was able to hang on to record the shut out. The Bulls out shot the Aces six to five in the third, while the Aces out shot the Bulls 32 to 18 in the game.

The Bulls had a vastly different and an improved defensive performance in game two. The story of the night was Heemskerk’s play in net as he stopped all 32 shots he faced on the evening recording the first shut out in Bulls’ playoff history. Heemskerk bounced back terrifically after his nightmare outing in game one as he came up with big save after big save to keep the Aces off of the scoreboard. Along with Heemskerk the penalty kill was fantastic as they shut down the Aces on all seven of their attempts with the man advantage, including a four on three in the second period. The penalty kill held the Aces without a shot on three of their seven chances as they smothered the Alaska power play all night. The Bulls’ offense again struggled with just 18 shots on the net in the entire game. Kory Falite’s early third period goal was the Bulls’ only goal on the night and it proved to be difference in the game. Their power play was again ineffective as they squandered six chances being up a man. The Bulls offensive and power play units need to step up as they return home, so the outcome is not solely on the shoulders of Thomas Heemskerk because he will not shut out the Aces the entire rest of the series. The series is now tied at 1-1. The series continues next Thursday at 7:15pm for game three as the Bulls return home for the next three games.

Three Stars:

  1. Thomas Heemskerk – San Francisco
  2. Kory Falite – San Francisco
  3. Dean Ouellet – San Francisco

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Tags: Alaska Aces ECHL San Francisco Bulls