January 4, 2013 - ECHL (ECHL) - San Francisco Bulls
San Francisco Bulls (12-17-1-4, eighth place, Western Conference) vs.
Colorado Eagles (17-14-1-2, fifth place, Western Conference)
When: Friday, January 4 at 7:15 pm
Where: Cow Palace
Watch: Comcast Hometown Network (Channel 104), Americaonesports.com
Promotion: Country Western Night-First 1,000 fans, 18 and over, receive a Bulls foam cowboy hat, courtesy of the San Francisco Examiner.
Tonight's Matchup: It's Country Western Night at the Cow Palace, and the San Francisco Bulls (12-17-1-4) aim to rope in the visiting Colorado Eagles (17-14-1-2). So far this season, the Eagles have had the Bulls' number, leading the season series 5-0. After tonight's game at the Cow Palace, the teams face off once more in late February in Colorado.
The Bulls were unable to capitalize on Colorado's recent road woes, losing in a shootout on Wednesday night. Newly acquired NHL center Torrey Mitchell notched the Bulls' loan goal on the night with 9:14 left in the first period. Justin Bowers and Dean Ouellet picked up assists on Mitchell's first goal in a San Francisco uniform. The Eagles found the equalizer in the second period, when Devin DiDiomete found the back of the net, assisted by Isaac Smeltzer and Teegan Moore.
Filling in for the injured Thomas Heemskerk, back-up goaltender Taylor Nelson stood on his head the entire game, making 34 spectacular saves. Nelson held the Eagles to just one goal, while in previous match ups, the Eagles had out-scored the Bulls 21-5. With Heemskerk on the 21-day IR, Nelson should expect to see more playing time, boosting his confidence, experience, and play. The Bulls recently acquired Bryan Hince, a goaltender out of Kapukasing, Ontario, to stand in as the back up to Nelson. Sacha Guimond returned to the Bulls after a brief absence and instantly made an impact, tallying five shots and providing strong defense.
San Francisco announced that forward Dean Ouellet was named to the 2013 ECHL All-Star Team. Ouellet will represent the Bulls when the All-Stars take on the Eagles back in Loveland, Colorado on January 22. The rookie standout is leading the Bulls in points this season, posting an impressive 29 points, with 16 goals and 13 assists. Ouellet is tied for first in goals among ECHL rookies and ranks tied for third in points among first-year players.
The Eagles currently sit in fifth place in the Western Conference, eight points ahead of the Bulls, who remain in eighth place. Before heading home, the Eagles finish up their road set against the Bulls tonight, with the final game of their road trip on Saturday against Stockton. San Francisco has a tough month ahead of them, with ten games remaining in January, three against the Western Conference leaders Alaska Aces, and one against the second place Ontario Reign.
Justin Bowers (8g, 20a) and Peter Sivak (11g, 17a) continue their strong play for the Bulls with 28 points, tied for second place on the team behind Dean Ouellet.
Friday night marks the first Country Western Night at the Cow Palace! The first 1,000 fans, 18 and over, receive a Bulls Foam Cowboy Hat, presented by the San Francisco Examiner. Line dance with the Cow Belles, take a photo with a live bull and watch a Rocky Mountain Oyster Eating Competition. It's also Hockey Bingo Friday. Receive a Bingo card and watch the game to see if your spots get filled to win prizes.