I have lots to cover in today’s blog so keep reading until the very end, you won’t regret it!
Saturday’s playoff Game #2 against the Alaska Aces was a Must Win. It would have been fatal to allow the Aces to get ahead in the series by two games. Because of the Bulls determination, skill and hard, hard work, they SHUT OUT Alaska 1-0. That’s right! Not only was this the team’s FIRST SHUTOUT, but they shutout Alaska on their home ice!
Please take a breath and realize how HUGE of a victory this is for the Bulls. Before Saturday night, only Idaho had been able to shutout Alaska in their home arena. The game was the perfect example of how great things can be if the basics are followed: aggressive offense, tight defense and thoughtful play.
|Victory at Park 77|
There were several moments when the team could have lost their cool, especially when penalties were not called on Aces players like Chris Clackson. To me, he’s Public Enemy Number One for his goonish behavior on the ice. I will boo and boo LOUDLY (!!) whenever his name is announced at the barn. And Alaska took to diving, a lot. But hey, if this hockey thing doesn’t work out, the Alaska Aces can always join the Olympic Diving Team.
|Park 77 with Ian Schultz & the Bulls Crew|
A large group of us fans watched the game in the outside garden of Park 77. I want to thank Tom and the club’s most gracious hospitality for making us feel right at home. He had already scheduled a large birthday party months earlier, but for the Bulls, he created space at the last minute. And all the hard work he did to make us feel welcomed was most appreciated.
HORNS OF THE GAME: Even though Falite scored the one and only goal of the game, it was Thomas Heemskerk’s goaltending that won the game for the Bulls. He stopped all 32 shots the Aces fired at him. They were relentless but so was Heemers. So, for this victory in the Second Game of the playoff series, Heemskerk gets the Horns of the Game.
|Thomas Heemskerk wins Horns of the Game|
On the way back to San Francisco, the team took overnight flights home Sunday morning, arriving back at the barn, bleary eyed and disheveled. The Matadors Club had a Welcome Home Breakfast of coffee, bagels, pastries and fruit for them if they wanted something before passing out. It was a very thoughtful thing to do for the guys and most appreciated by the team.
|Simon Danis Pepin|
|Taylor Nelson & Christian Ouellet|
Welcome Home!!! We love you Bulls!!!
Now I want to recap all of the First Round EHCL series.
#2 Ontario Reign vs #7 Utah Grizzlies – Ontario swept the series 4-0. Two of the games went into overtime, but in the end, Ontario was the dominant team. Ontario moves on to the Second Round.
#8 San Francisco Bulls vs #1 Alaska Aces – games are tied up at 1-1. They now move to San Francisco for three games starting April 11.
#3 Idaho Steelheads vs #6 Colorado Eagles – Idaho leads series 2-1 games. Games 4 & 5 are Sunday, April 7 and Tuesday, April 9 in Colorado.
#4 Stockton Thunder vs #5 Las Vegas Wranglers – Stockton are ahead in this series 2-0 games. Game three is Monday, April 8 in Las Vegas.
#1 Reading Royals vs #8 Greenville Road Warriors – Reading is leading this series 2-0. Game three is Wednesday April 10 in Greenville.
#2 Cincinnati Cyclones vs Toledo Walleye – Cincinnati leads Toledo 2-0 games. Third game is Wednesday April 10 in Cincinnati.
#3 Gwinnett Gladiators vs South Carolina Stingrays – Gwinnett leads series 2-0 games. Wednesday April 10 is the next game in South Carolina.
#5 Elmira Jackals vs Florida Everblades – Series tied 1-1. Game three is Wednesday in Elmira.
Game three of the Bulls playoff series against the Alaska Aces is Thursday, April 11. I hope many of you will be there. And if you’re going to the game, WEAR YOUR ORANGE!