By Charles Richards
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - The San Francisco Bulls (14-20-1-4) overcame adversity in the third period to upend the Stockton Thunder (21-14-4-3), 4-2, Saturday night at the Cow Palace in front of a crowd of 5,618. Kris Belan scored the game-winning tally with 6:04 remaining in the third period. Peter Sivak scored for the fifth game in a row, and Taylor Nelson made 32 saves to earn the victory.
Stockton took a 1-0 lead late in the period on a delayed penalty call. Mike Little got the puck over Nelson for his fifth goal of the season. Cameron Brodie picked up the only assist on the goal scored with 4:24 remaining in the period.
The Bulls came out on fire in the second period, scoring consecutive goals to take a 2-1 lead. Sivak lit the lamp after a beautiful pass by Rob Kwiet for his 17th goal of the season at 2:11. Belan also picked up an assist on the goal. Jonathan Lessard scored his first professional goal at 5:16 to give the Bulls the lead. Lessard found the rebound in front of the goal and slammed it past Stockton’s Cody Reichard. Kwiet and Jordan Morrison were credited with the assists. Lost in all the goal-scoring in the period was the fantastic goaltending of Nelson, who made a big breakaway save off Eric Hunter when the Bulls were on the power play.
In the third period, controversy struck. Harrison Reed’s shot on the power play initially looked like hit the post and never crossed the line. The referee waved off the goal, and play continued. Following the next stoppage, the referee and linesmen convened and reversed the call, tying the game at two with 7:12 remaining in regulation. The Bulls were not fazed by the adversity, and took the lead right back, courtesy of Belan’s seventh goal of the season. Jordan Clendenning and Lessard set up the goal with 6:04 remaining in the game to give the Bulls a 3-2 advantage. The Bulls added an empty net goal from Morrison to seal the victory for the Bulls.
The Bulls finish up the weekend series against the Stockton Thunder tomorrow in Stockton at 4:00. Follow along on KNBR.com and AmericaOneSports.com. The Bulls return home on January 31st to take on the Ontario Reign at 7:15.
Bulletins: The Bulls are 4-2-0-0 against the Thunder this season…Sebastien Trudeau, Rylan Galiardi and Christian Ouellet made their home debuts for the Bulls…The Bulls earned their third victory of the season when allowing the first goal.
- Taylor Nelson (SF)
- Rob Kwiet (SF)
- Jordan Morrison (SF)