Bulls Go For Two Straight As They Renew Rivalry With Thunder: Game Preview


San Francisco Bulls v Stockton Thunder, February 17, 2013 – Photo Courtesy of Mike Tkacheff via the San Francisco Bulls Web Page – SFBulls.com

The Bulls are back in action tonight as they travel to Stockton to take on the Thunder. The Bulls (22-34-7) are eight points ahead of Bakersfield for eighth and behind Utah for seventh, while the Thunder (32-24-9) are six points ahead of Las Vegas for fourth. The Bulls have a magic number of nine points with nine games left. The Bulls are coming off a convincing win over Las Vegas as they scored three unanswered goals on route to a four to win decision. Stockton has won five of their last nine games since their four to nothing victory over San Francisco. The Bulls lead the season series 5-4-1.

The Bulls had a great game in their last contest as they dominated Las Vegas in all facets of the game. The Bulls offense looked strong after a late first period power play goal by Christian Ouellet. Yanni Gourde was the offensive spark as he three points to lead all scorers in the game. He had the assists on the Bulls’ first two goals and netted the final goal. He had 10 points in eight games with the Bulls and his stellar play is the reason he was recalled to Worcester in the AHL. Worcester loaned the Bulls forward Tommy Grant. Grant has 21 points, 10 goals and 11 assists, in 48 games with Worcester this season. Taylor Nelson had an easy night in the net with only having to face 17 shots. The lone goal he surrendered came on freakish bounce as the initial shot hit the post and bounced off of Nelson into the net. Other than that goal the Bulls had an excellent defensive night as they limited the Wranglers chances.

The Thunder come in playing very well as winners of six of their last 10. Six of those games came against the second place Ontario Reign in which the two teams went three and three. The Thunder are being lead by newcomer Shawn Weller with his 10 points in his 12 games since joining the Thunder. Matt Reber has also been playing well with eight points in his last 10 games. Thunder goalie Tyler Bunz has looked shaky lately with 13 goals allowed in his last four starts. He has allowed three or more goals in each game over that stretch.

The Bulls need to carry their offensive momentum over from the last game as they go up against a shaky goaltender in Bunz. The Bulls will need the offense as the Thunder offense has been effective lately. If the Bulls can stay discipline in their own zone and keep the Thunder to the outside in the defensive zone, then the Bulls should be able to score enough to win this game.