The San Francisco Bulls’ offense was shut down by the Alaska Aces again as they dropped game three. The Aces were able to stymie the Bulls’ offense on their way to the 4-1 victory. Alaska used three straight goals to pull away from the Bulls and the Bulls were never able to establish enough footing offensively to mount a comeback. Jordan Morrison had the Bulls’ lone goal midway through the third period to cut the deficit to two goals before the Aces put away the game with a late empty net goal. Thomas Heemskerk had an average game as he allowed three goals on the 33 shots he faced.
The first period played out like two teams that had not played in about a week as both teams struggled to make anything happen offensively. San Francisco was given an early power play just 2:54 into the game. They were unable to convert on the man advantage, as the power play has continued to be unable to make an impact. The Bulls would get another chance shortly after their first, but again the Aces top ranked penalty kill would hold them scoreless. The Aces lone power play would come midway through the game, but the Bulls’ penalty kill answered back and held the Aces scoreless. The Aces out shot the Bulls nine to five in the first period.
The Aces would begin to exert their dominance in the second period. The Aces would find an early breakthrough just 2:58 into the frame. Alex Hudson would net his first of the series to put the Aces ahead with a crucial opening goal. Bobby Hughes and Tim Hall would get credit for the assists. The Aces would extend their lead shortly after when Steve Ward would find the back of the net to put the Aces by two. Evan Trupp and Nick Mazzolini would combine for the assists. With the Bulls looking for some energy Kris Belan would drop the gloves with Evan Trupp. The star of the period was Aces goalie Mark Guggenberger, who made saves on all 10 shots he faced during the period. The Aces out shot the Bulls 15-10.
The Bulls would be looking for a comeback as they were down by two and were still in the game. The Aces would effectively ice the game with an early third period goal 6:33 into the period. Nick Mazzolini would finally score his first of the series to put the Aces ahead by three goals. However, the Bulls would answer back soon after with the first goal of the game. Jordan Morrison would bank a shot off of Guggenberger to bring the Bulls within two. Peter Sivak would get his first point of the series in his first game active, with the assist on the goal along with Christian Ouellet. With the Bulls trying to get back into the game, they pulled their goalie late in the game to get the extra attacker out on the ice. The Aces would finally put the game away as Zach Harrison would net his second of the series with the empty net tally. The Aces out-shot the Aces 10-7 in the period and 34 to 22 in the game.
The Bulls offense struggled to find any momentum through the game. They only managed to put 22 shots over the course of the game as Alaska limited their chances. The Bulls were hoping to get to a little more output from the offense, as Peter Sivak returned from his stint with Worcester. He did have an impact as he tallied an assist on the lone goal by Jordan Morrison. Christian Ouellet also was credited with an assist on the Morrison goal. Aces’ goalie Mark Guggenberger had an easy night of work, but he was still up to the task as he only surrendered a single goal to the Bulls. The Aces defense and goalie play has been the major key to this series, as the Bulls only have three goals in three games. Outside of game two the Bulls’ defense has struggled to contain the Alaska attack and allowing Alaska to maintain offensive pressure throughout the series. Thomas Heemskerk did not have a strong night with three goals allowed. Special teams was not a factor, as the two teams combined for three power plays and neither team was able to convert. The Aces now lead the series 2-1. Game four is tonight as the two teams meet at 7:15 PM in the Cow Palace.
- Nick Mazzolini – Alaska
- Steve Ward – Alaska
- Mark Guggenberger – Alaska