Bulls Kick Off Weekend Home and Home Series With Rival Thunder: Game Preview


San Francisco Bulls v Stockton Thunder, January 19, 2013 – Photos Courtesy of Mike Tkacheff via SFBulls.com

The Bulls travel to Stockton two kick off a home and home series with their Northern California rival the Thunder. The Bulls (19-25-7) come in trailing Utah by two points for seventh place in the west, while the Thunder (25-20-9) are tied with Las Vegas for fourth in the west. The Bulls are coming off of a split from the midweek two game set with the Idaho Steelheads. They took game two with a four goal third period on their way to a six to three victory. The Thunder are coming in off an overtime victory over the Ontario Reign on Friday night. The Thunder took the last meeting between these two teams. The Bulls are 5-2-1 on the year against the Thunder.

The Bulls are coming off of an impressive six to three victory over the Steelheads. The Bulls were led by Rob Kwiet and Peter Sivak with two goals apiece. Sivak’s late goal in the second is the goal that brought the Bulls to within one. Rob Kwiet added two straight goals to tie the game and then to give the Bulls a lead they would not relinquish. The Bulls also added goals from Alex Tuckerman and Kris Belan. Goalie Thomas Heemskerk was outstanding as he made 41 saves on 44 shots. He was key for the Bulls chances as he kept the back the Steelheads in theird while the Bulls made their outstanding charge. The penalty kill was effective once again as they stopped four of the five power play chances for the Steelheads.

The Thunder come in struggling of late as they have only two of their last seven games since facing the Bulls. They are without their two leading scorers with with Harrison Reed’s call up to Lake Erie and leading scorer Yannick Riendeau has been suspended by the Thunder. They are led offensively by Justin Maylan with 18 goals and 40 points on the season. The Thunder offense has been anemic as of late with only 13 goals for in their last seven contests. Goalie Olivier Roy had a solid night last as he only allowed goal, while making 30 saves on the night.

The Bulls should be able to maintain their dominance over the Thunder as they look to build the momentum going into Sunday’s game at home. The Bulls’ defense has been solid lately and they are getting a slumping Thunder offense. The Bulls should be able to outscore the Thunder as their offense has looked much better recently.