Bulls Get Rude Awakening In Return To Ice


San Francisco Bulls v Las Vegas Wranglers, February 6, 2013 – Photos Courtesy of Mike Tkacheff via SF Bulls Home Page

A bad night as the Bulls get crushed in all phases of tonight’s contest. The Bulls are going to want to forget their return to the ice as they get crushed five to zero. Poor offensive output, poor defending, and poor goalie play all played major roles in a horrible night for the Bulls. Only two Bulls players were not record a minus and Taylor Nelson had a nightmare evening as he only saved 19 of 23 shots, which led to him being pulled after giving up the fourth Las Vegas goal. Back up Las Vegas goalie Jody O’Neill recorded the shut out as he saved all 40 shots he faced on the evening. Las Vegas forward Andrew Sarauer had himself a night as he recorded a hat trick in just two periods, including a short handed goal.

First Period:

The Bulls came out flat against Las Vegas in the opening period as they were out shot 16 to eight. Las Vegas’s Josh Lunden opened the scoring at 6:58 in the first period as he was able to deflect the puck past Nelson for his seventh goal of the season. The Bulls got an opportunity to strike back as they were given a power play a half minute later, but it would end in utter disaster as Andrew Sarauer would find himself on the short handed breakaway that would lead to his 14th goal of the season. Both teams would be unsuccessful on their each of the power play opportunities in the second half of the period.

Second Period:

The Bulls would show more life offensively in the second but they would continued to be denied by the hot glove of O’Neill. The Wranglers would push their lead to three at 8:58 in the second. Andrew Sarauer would score his second goal of the game and 15th on the season. Taylor Nelson’s night would come to an end at 17:36 in the second period as Sarauer would complete the hat trick scoring his third goal of the game and his 16th on the year giving the Wranglers a four goal lead, Thomas Heemskerk would make his return from his emergency appendectomy surgery back on New Year’s day. Bulls would out shot the Wranglers 12 to seven

Third Period:

The Bulls would push up the offensive pressure as they try to make a comeback bid, but again O’Neill had an answer for everything they tried. Matt Campanale would put the bow on this one as he scored the Wranglers’ fifth goal at 9:58 in third. The game would get out of hand after that point as both teams got a little chippy leading to two fights. The first saw Scott Langdon take on Adam Huxley shortly after the Wranglers’ fifth goal. Then Hans Benson would challenge Josh Godfrey and earn a game misconduct for being an instigator in the final five minutes of the game. Bulls out shot the Wranglers 20 to 11 in the third and 40 to 34 on the game.

An overly forgettable game as the Bulls either just played a really bad game or if the extended lay off built up rust. Taylor Nelson had another rough night as he let in four goals that led to him being pulled late in the second period in place of Thomas Heemskerk. Heemskerk made his debut since coming of the injured reserve and he stopped 10 of 11 shots he faced. The Wranglers had a the two big stars on both sides of the ice. Forward Andrew Sarauer shredded the Bulls for his first hat trick on the season. On the defensive side the Wranglers got outstanding goaltending from back up goalie Jody O’Neill, who posted a 40 shot shut out. The Bulls fall to 17-23-6 on the season, while the Wranglers jump to 23-19-5. Wranglers now own a two win to one loss advantage in the season series. The Bulls get a day off as they try to right the ship down in Ontario as they face the Reign on Friday.

Three Stars:

  1. Jody O’Neill – Las Vegas
  2. Andrew Sarauer – Las Vegas
  3. Adam Hughesman – Las Vegas.