I thought I’d make an entry every couple of months and focus on the Bulls players and my thoughts about their performance so far in the season. There’s not a bad player in the bunch, so this will be more my mental notes of their positive attributes and contributions on the ice.
PAT CURCIO – Coach
It is because of Coach Curdog, (his nickname) that we have the Bulls at all! This powerhouse of a man has more drive, more inspiration and energy than most people. He saw that San Francisco was a great sports town so he built the Bulls from the bottom floor of the Cow Palace on up. Do not underestimate his hockey knowledge nor his ability to lead this team to greatness. You owe him your respect.
#2 – MICHAEL TAM – Defense
Tam has shuffled back and forth from the Worcester Sharks. I’m sure he’d rather play in Mass, but until then, he’s doing a great job on Defense. He’s a fast, agile skater who likes to be close to the puck and in the Offense’s faces.
#6 - JOE SOVA – Defense
Sova hasn’t spent too much time on the ice, but he’s available when needed. I look forward to seeing him play more games into the season.
#9 – JORDAN MORRISON – Forward (Alternate Captain)
Morrison has 10 points so far, including an empty netter from last night. He continues to do well on the ice and hone his play sharper. I expect to see many more goals from him this season.
#11 – JAMIE DEVANE – Left Wing
Devane hasn’t had that much ice time yet. This big wing will be getting more experience and the future is wide open for him.
#17 – ROB KWIET – Defense (pronounced kwit)
Kwiet has played for a few ECHL teams before. He was last with the Stockton Thunder. Before that, he played for Greenville Road Warriors and the Reading Royals, so he knows his way around the league. He’s a good defenseman and should be able to handle our opponents well.
#18 – ALEX TUCKERMAN – Forward
Tuckerman is quite the success story. He was scratched from the beginning season’s games and only recently has been playing actively. He has 2 goals plus 1 assist so far. One of the team’s rising stars, he’ll be getting a lot more and soon.
#19 – DANILL TORASOV – Right Wing
Torasov is new to the team and has only played in a couple games. But I can tell that his speed and adeptness with the puck will help the team out a lot. If he’s on the ice, he’ll be in the thick of action, so it’s only a matter of time until his play starts burning up.
#22 – CHRIS FRANK – Defense
Frank has played 9 games with the Bulls, none recently. Give him time and a few games to get back into Defense.
#23 – ANDREW CRESCENZI – Center
Crescenzi is one of the best additions to the team this premiere season. When playing, his directness and leadership is invaluable. He has 4 points in 8 games played, including one goal, but I expect many more to come.
#24 – SCOTT LANGDON – Defense (Alternate Captain)
This is THE guy I want watching my back! Langdon has no fear protecting the net, the puck or his teammates. He’s not shy about getting a few punches in when needed either. He has 50 PIMs in 20 games, as well as 5 points: 1 goal and 4 assists.
#25 – SIMON DANIS-PEPIN - Defense
At 6’7”, DANIS-PEPIN towers over the other players. He’s played 15 games and had a bit of a slow start, but I think he is emerging as a player to watch adding 2 assist points in the last couple of games.
#27 – JESSE TODD – Forward
Todd has yet to play a game with the Bulls, so we’ll wait to see what he can do.
#29 – TAYLOR NELSON Goalie
The Bulls are Nelson’s first professional team. He does need some polishing and seasoning, but this is to be expected. I like knowing he can step up into the net if we need him.
#32 – HANS BENSON – Left Wing (Alternate Captain)
Benson only played 3 games and then was injured. Once he’s back in action, expect hard-driving action and plays from this sturdy LW.
#33 – THOMAS HEEMSKERK Goalie
I now know what the Sharks see in Heemskerk. In every game, his level of play improves. His reaction to the puck faster, his guarding instincts more precise than the game before. I am very happy with the Bulls Goaltender.
#41 – JUSTIN BOWERS – Center (Captain)
Curcio knew who the right man for team captain was when he appointed it to Bowers. He is a dynamo not just at revving up the team, but at scoring and ice action. He has 20 points and is 14th in the ECHL for Top Scorers. Don’t expect him to stay down that low in the ECHL standings either; there will be plenty more scoring from Bowers to come!
#43 – KRIS BELAN - Left Wing (pronounced Bell-in)
Belan has 10 points with the team this season so far with 2 goals and 8 assists. He does it all, he scores, he assists and he fights. He has 63 PIMs and he usually wins those fights. Belan is a player who could go on to be a top-of-the-line player. Stay tuned.
#44 – SACHA GUIMOND - Defense
Guimond is another Defenseman who can seemingly do it all. He has 16 points with 5 goals and 11 assists. And he protects the net like a journeyman.
#45 – DEAN OUELLET – Center
As a rookie, I wouldn’t have expected Ouellet’s play to be as amazing as it is. This is his first year of professional hockey and he already has 17 points with 10 goals and 7 assists. He scored the team’s first Hat Trick in the game on November 25th against the Stockton Thunder and I see no reason why he doesn’t continue to roll over any competition in his way.
#47 – DYLAN KING – Defense
Like a brick wall, to come across King means that you probably don’t stand much of a chance of moving the puck. In 18 games he has 4 points, 2 goals, 2 assists, and 25 PIMs. King is another Rookie who’s improving play make him one to watch.
#49 – JORDAN CLENDENNING – Center
The player with the hardest name to shout out at a game, Clendenning is not shy on the ice. Even as a rookie, he has 9 game points, 3 goals and 6 assists, as well as 41 PIMs. He’s natural reaction to get in the middle of the action will also make him a possible future captain in his career.
#55 – MAREK VIEDENSKY – Left Wing
Slovakian Viedensky has only played 6 games and he already as 9 points, split between 4 goals and 5 assists. What this means for the Bulls is look out for Vieds to be on the ECHL leader list soon. It’s going to happen.
#91 – PETER SIVAK – Right Wing
Sivak was the team’s first recruited player. And what a start to the team! He has burst into life in recent games, perhaps because of the addition of Viedensky. Sivak was born in the Czech Republic, but lived in Slovakia so it probably makes him very happy to have a fellow Eastern European player on the team with him. Sivak is as fast as the wind and as slick as fresh ice. He can weave the puck like no one else, and to see this is a beautiful thing. Sivak has spent his career up until now in Europe, it’s about time the U.S. sees how great this player is.
#92 – RYANE CLOWE – Assistant Coach
I put Clowe’s position has Assistant Coach because for now, that’s what he’s doing. Curcio, in another moment of brilliance added Clowe to the team and it’s been a huge difference. He’s helping out with Defense from what I’ve heard, but also on the Penalty Kill and Power Play. Whatever he’s doing it’s a huge thumb’s up, keep it going!!!
OK, that’s a little wrap up for now. I’ll update this in two months and see how everyone is doing.