By Charles Richards
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.- Jordan Morrison scored in the third period to bring the Bulls within two, but the San Francisco Bulls were defeated by the Alaska Aces, 4-1, in Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals, Thursday night at the Cow Palace. Alaska now leads the best-of-seven series two games to one.
The Bulls and Aces skated to a scoreless first period. Thomas Heemskerk and Mark Guggenberger were solid in goal for their respective teams. Both teams had opportunities to score on the power play, with the Bulls receiving two power plays to Alaska’s one. The Aces out-shot the Bulls 9-5 through 20 minutes of play.
Alaska broke the ice at 2:58 of the second period to take a 1-0 lead. Alex Hudson scored his first goal of the playoffs with a perfect wrist shot over the shoulder of Heemskerk. Bobby Hughes and Tim Hall assisted on the goal. Alaska would double their advantage to 2-0 at 6:38 of the period after Steve Ward scored his first of the playoffs. Evan Trupp picked up the only assist. Looking to spark some energy for his team, Kris Belan dropped the gloves with Trupp shortly after Alaska had taken their two-goal lead.
The Aces extended their lead to 3-0 at 6:33 of the third period. Nick Mazzolini scored his first goal of the playoffs to widen the deficit for San Francisco. Mazzolini’s goal was unassisted. The Bulls got back into the game at 8:43 when Morrison scored his first goal of the playoffs to bring the score to 3-1. Morrison picked up a rebound behind the net, and banked the puck in off of Guggenberger. Heemskerk had vacated his net on the play for a delayed penalty call. Peter Sivak and Christian Ouellet assisted on the goal. Zach Harrison added an empty net goal for the Aces to seal the 4-1 victory.
The series continues with Game 4 tomorrow, and Game 5 Saturday, both at 7:15 pm. Help Orange Out the Cow Palace. Call (855) SF-BULLS for tickets.
Bulletins: Thomas Heemskerk and Simon Danis-Pepin celebrated birthdays today…The Bulls were out-shot 34-22….Peter Sivak returned to the lineup tonight after recording five points (four goals, one assist) in nine games with the Worcester Sharks of the AHL…Jordan Morrison has scored six goals in the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
Click here to view photos of tonight’s game