By Gabe Schapiro
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The San Francisco Bulls (21-30-1-6) and Las Vegas Wranglers (29-23-2-3) played a tightly contested game Friday night at Orleans Arena, but thanks to two power play goals, the Wranglers came away with the 2-1 victory. Yanni Gourde continued his hot start in a Bulls uniform, scoring the Bulls lone goal and his first with the team, shorthanded in the first period. Thomas Heemskerk had a strong outing in net, stopping 22 of 24 shots.
The first period saw the Bulls get into some penalty trouble, giving the Wranglers four power play opportunities. However, the Bulls took advantage of an odd man rush, and Gourde got San Francisco on the board first with a shorthanded goal at 8:03. The goal was his first in a Bulls uniform. He got a beautiful feed from Christian Ouellet for the lone assist on the play. Las Vegas would come back to tie the game at 1-1 when Sean Wiles tipped in a power-play goal with 6:23 remaining in the first period. He received assists from Jamie Fritsch and Scott Pitt.
In the second period, both teams started to get more physical, with Jordan Clendenning dropping the gloves with Channing Boe. Las Vegas took a 2-1 lead after Adam Hughesman netted the Wranglers second power play goal of the night at 6:35. He got assists from Eric Lampe and Charlie Cook. The physicality continued with Scott Langdon and Robbie Smith scrapping towards the end of the period.
The Bulls got their chances in the third period, going on three power plays and getting their best chances of the night. In the waning seconds, Peter Sivak got a great chance in front of the net, but the Wranglers’ netminder, Joe Fallon, stood strong. He would stop all 12 of the Bulls shots in the period, sealing the victory for Las Vegas.
The Bulls finish up their six-game road trip with a matinee game on Sunday at 2:05, once again facing-off with the Las Vegas Wranglers. Follow along on KNBR.com and AmericaOneSports.com. They return home next week, Wednesday March 6, to take on the Alaska Aces. They will host Eco-Friendly weekend on March 8 and 9. Call 855-SF-BULLS for tickets to any of the upcoming home games.
Bulletins: Yanni Gourde has a three game point streak (1g, 2a)…The Bulls have scored shorthanded goals in consecutive games, giving them three on the season…Dean Ouellet’s three game point streak was snapped…Las Vegas held the edge in shots 24-22.