Bulls and Thunder Meet in Weekend Rubber Match in Stockton
San Francisco Bulls (14-20-1-4, eighth place, Western Conference) at
Stockton Thunder (21-14-4-3), fourth place, Western Conference)
When: Sunday, January 20 at 4:00 pm
Where: Stockton Arena
Today's Matchup: The San Francisco Bulls (14-20-1-4) charge into Stockton Arena on Sunday afternoon to take on the Stockton Thunder (21-14-4-3) for the third and final game of their three-in-three weekend series. These two California rivals face off for their seventh of thirteen meetings this season. The Bulls lead the season series 4-2-0-0, and look to continue their winning ways this afternoon after a third period come back last night that saw the Bulls upend the Thunder 4-2.
Despite only putting six shots on net, Stockton took the lead late in the first period when Mike Little netted his fifth goal of the season. Peter Sivak quickly tied the game up at one early in the second period after a magnificent feed from Rob Kwiet and Kris Belan. Newcomer Jonathan Lessard scored his first professional goal in a San Francisco jersey at 5:16 in the second to give the Bulls a 2-1 lead, assisted by Kwiet and Jordan Morrison. In the third, a controversial call brought the game score back to a tie when Stockton's Harrison Reed's shot on the power play was reviewed and called a goal. The Bulls regained the lead after Belan netted his seventh goal of the season, with assists from Jordan Clendenning and Lessard. Morrison would add an empty net goal at 19:57 of the third to seal the victory for San Francisco. The Bulls were out-shot by the Thunder 34-31.
Bulls netminder Taylor Nelson shined, rightfully earning the first star on the night with 32 saves. He had a bit of help from the strong defensive effort in front of him. Rob Kwiet continues to be impressive, not only posting two assists last night, but by providing strong and consistent defense while filling in the hole that was left with Sacha Guimond's departure. In his return from a two game suspension Scott Langdon's impact was felt, mentally and physically on the ice, and continues to lead the Bulls in plus/minus at +14. Recently acquired Cody Carlson did not register a point on the night, but had a very strong game that earned him a +1. Carlson's night was highlighted by an impressive play where he managed to disrupt a three-on-one fast break.
Peter Sivak continues to pace the Bulls in points, adding another to his team leading point lead with 35. Sivak now has goals in each of his last five games, six total over that span, good for the second best active goal streak in the ECHL.
After last night's game, Stockton remains in fourth place in the Western Conference with 49 points and San Francisco remains in eighth place with 31 points. The Bulls are now just two points behind the Utah Grizzlies.
The Bulls return home on January 31 to take on the Ontario Reign at 7:15 pm. It's Thirsty Thursday, where 12-ounce domestic draft beers are half price at select concessions.
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