SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – The San Francisco Bulls, proud affiliate of the San Jose Sharks, opened up their inaugural season in front of a capacity crowd of 8,277 at the Cow Palace on Friday evening. Their comeback bid was thwarted by the visiting Bakersfield Condors, who took the game 4-3. Kevin Baker and Sacha Guimond electrified the crowd, scoring twice in the third period in the span of 1:06, but the Condors held on for the victory, spoiling the party. It was an exciting return to pro hockey in San Francisco after more than 16 years.
The Condors struck first with 9:16 remaining in the first period. Levi Nelson scored on a low shot, giving Bakersfield a 1-0 lead. With 3:59 left in the opening frame, Dean Ouellet registered the first goal in team history, firing a shot from the high circle for a 1-1 game. Zach Cohen scored with 1:24 left in the first period to put Bakersfield back on top after 20 minutes.
Bakersfield scored twice in the second period to extend their lead. Robby Dee was rewarded a penalty shot while shorthanded and converted at the 4:25 mark. Brett Perlini scored on his own rebound with 2:47 left in the second period to put the Condors up 4-1 after two periods.
In the third, it was all Bulls. With 8:22 remaining in regulation, Baker blasted a high shot by goaltender Brian Stewart. Guimond followed it up with a rocket of his own for a 4-3 game. The Bulls continued to press, but Stewart shut the door.
The Bulls return to action tomorrow night as they host the Condors in the final game of their two-game series. Call 855-SF-BULLS to get your tickets for the rematch.
BULLETINS: Kevin Baker, Dean Ouellet and Sacha Guimond all scored their first professional goals…Thomas Heemskerk made 31 saves in the loss…Kris Belan and Erik Burgdoefer dropped the gloves in the first period…Bulls left wing Hans Benson played for Bakersfield last season.