San Francisco Bulls Unable To Stave Off Elimination By Alaska: Game Recap


Godofredo Vasquez / Alaska Aces Bobby Hughes (19), right, scores the team’s first goal against the Bulls during the playoff game between the San Francisco Bulls and the Alaska Aces at the Cow Palace in San Francisco on Saturday, April 13, 2013.

The San Francisco Bulls come up just short against the Alaska Aces by a score of 5-3. The Bulls were unable to stave off elimination by failing to complete the comeback late in the game. Bryan Cameron gave the Bulls an early lead, but the Aces would score four straight goals. The Bulls would pull to within one following late goals by Peter Sivak and Dean Ouellet, but the Aces iced the game shortly after with the empty tally. Thomas Heemskerk struggled again with four goals allowed on 31 shots. The Bulls wrapped up the series by dropping three straight at home.

First Period:

The first period would see the Bulls playing with the desperation of team on the verge of elimination. The first real action would come right before the midway point, as the Bulls would give the Aces a power play following hooking penalty.

However, the Bulls penalty kill and Heemskerk would stand tall to deny the Aces from converting on the power play. Several minutes later, the Bulls would get their first shot with the extra man due to an Alaska hooking minor penalty, and they finally converted their first power play of the series. Bryan Cameron was able to collect a loose puck in front of the net and put it past Mark Guggenberger’s glove for his first of the series.

Rob Kwiet would combine with Ouellet for the assists on the Cameron goal. Their lead would be short lived, however. Bobby Hughes would convert on an odd man rush to score his series leading fourth goal with about two minutes remaining in the period. The period was capped off by Kris Belan dropping the mitts with B.J. Crum. The Bulls out-shot the Aces 11-8 in the frame.

Second Period:

The second period was a lot like last game, with the Aces’ offense coming alive and jumping all over the Bulls. The Bulls got off to bad start by taking a penalty just 30 seconds into the period. Again, the Bulls penalty kill was stout and managed to keep the Aces off the scoreboard. Things would get interesting shortly after, though. The Bulls thought they took a 2-1 lead, but the goal was disallowed, as the officials determined that Jordan Morrison had interfered with the goalie.

The goalie interference would give the Aces a power play, and they would capitalize on the opportunity. Hughes would collect his second straight goal, following a shot off the post that bounced right to his stick. To follow up on that, the Aces doubled their lead several minutes after the midway mark.

Alex Hudson scored his second goal of the series following a three on two rush. The Bulls got one more chance with the extra man, but would not take advantage of it. The Bulls’ lack of discipline never allowed them to find any offensive rhythm, as they had to kill off four separate Aces’ power plays. The Aces out shot the Bulls 15 to seven in the second.

Third Period:

Trailing by two, the Bulls were fighting for their playoff lives heading into the final period. They started off poorly and shot themselves in the foot, by taking an early penalty (which put them back on the penalty kill). The Aces would take just over a minute to push the score to 4-1.

Gary Nunn deflected a shot from Kane Lafranchise to record his second goal in the series. The Bulls would get one last power play right before the midway point of the period. They would not score on the power play, but they would strike shortly after the teams going to even strength. Sivak would sneak a wrist shot past Guggenberger for his first of the series and to bring the Bulls to within two.

Morrison and Antoine Corbin would get credit for the assists on the goal. The Bulls would make this one exciting after Ouellet would bring his team to within a single goal with his third of the playoffs. Cameron and Belan picked up the helpers on the goal.

The Bulls would pull the goalie to bring in the extra attacker, as they searched for the equalizer, but the Aces would clinch the victory with Zach Harrison putting one into the empty net with 62 seconds remaining. The Bulls out shot the Aces 12 to nine in the period, but the Aces out shot the Bulls 32 to 30 in the game.

The Bulls’ season is over, as they dropped a close one to the Alaska Aces. The offense was able to make an impact on this game, but they just did not have enough time to get any momentum built up due to the team having to kill off six different power plays.

Bryan Cameron gave the Bulls an early lead with his first of the playoffs, while Peter Sivak and Dean Ouellet brought the Bulls back to within one goal with their late third period goals. The power play finally had their first break through on Cameron’s first period goal, but it was their only goal in 18 chances on the power play in the series.

The Bulls defense struggled again, allowing the Aces to score four straight unanswered goals. Heemskerk allowed four goals on 31 shots in the game. He finished the series with a .902 save percentage and 3.49 goals against average. The Bulls lack of discipline played a major reason in their loss tonight, as they spent too much time on the penalty kill.

The penalty kill did not help itself by allowing the Aces to score twice in six chances, including the crucial goal early in third that turned out to be the difference in the game. The penalty kill finished the series by stopping 20 of 25 chances.

The Bulls have been eliminated from their first Kelly Cup playoff run by the Alaska Aces. The Aces took the series 4-1, including three straight wins in San Francisco. The Bulls head into next season with high hopes to improve next year with a full year to gel. A full season wrap up will be coming later this week.

Three Stars:

  1. Bobby Hughes – Alaska
  2. Bryan Cameron – San Francisco
  3. Peter Sivak – San Francisco