Petshark: Talking Stick
Entries with the tag: ontario reign
The performance of the Worcester Sharks recently inspired one of their close observers to tweet this:
@210Darryl: I think it's time for some changes for the #WorSharks...this team has way too much talent to be playing this poorly.
The Worcester Sharks only played two games last week, due in part to the AHL All Star break. The first game was Friday in Portland, against the Phoenix Coyotes' AHL affiliate the Pirates. They lost in a shootout, with goals from Tim Kennedy (PPG, assists to Tarasov and Kearns) and Daniil Tarasov (assists to Urban and Kennedy). It was Kennedy's 13th goal of the season, Tarasov's 3rd. Harri Sateri stopped 28 shots before the shootout, where he was beaten by the Pirates' Chris Brown. Worcester's power play went 1/9, their penalty kill was 6/7. Goals for the Pirates were scored by Rob Klinkhammer (assists to Lane and Sinkewich) and Ethan Werek (PPG, assists to Klinkhammer and Summers). Pirates goalie Mike Lee made 36 saves for the win.
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Tags: christian+ouellet, daniil+tarasov, dean+ouellet, marek+viedensky, nick+petrecki, ontario+reign, peter+sivak, rylan+galiardi, stockton+thunder, tim+kennedy, worcester+sharks
For me, Friday's Bulls game started with a long drive through the rain. This demonstration of diligence and commitment is less impressive if you know that I had a thrilling Worcester Sharks game to listen to on the way. No hardship there. It was probably exactly the sort of game I would never want to watch (I think they may have broken some season penalty minute records, could hardly go five minutes without a fight. I believe Frazer McLaren alone racked up 27 minutes before being excused.) Still, the back and forth scoring and right up to the last second suspense made for a great listen.
SF Bulls defenseman Sacha Guimond has gone back to Canada. This tweet from Simon Danis-Pepin sat there in my Twitter timeline for days:
@Simon_D_Pepin: "Having a good hangout with @Guimond15 before he heads north. Feel like my son is going away to college. #lesbulls #ledream"
I couldn't get anyone to explain it on Twitter, and I couldn't get to the city to ask someone about it. All I could get before the game was that Guimond was, in fact, going back to college in Canada. That was sort of anti-climactic. Guimond's official status would remain a mystery until after Friday's game. At that point I learned that his status isn't officially official, there is a possibility he will return but the forces of a scholarship are against it. He needs to enroll very soon or give up a hefty educational opportunity.
It was a big win. It didn't clinch a playoff spot, it wasn't their first win ever, but it was a big win. It was the first time the team won three in a row, and their first win against the Reign. It was a chance for the team to take a significant lead, hang on to it and build it to a final score of 5-1. It was a big win for the Bulls, and it was a win for Pat Curcio and his roster overhaul.
I felt sort of badly for writing about the 7-0 Bulls loss a couple of weeks ago. It didn't seem fair to cover that game in such detail, and say so little about them after that. But that was the game I went to. By Friday night, the team looked completely different. If you had told me that replacing half of the players in the space of two weeks would result in a consistent and almost shocking improvement, I would not have believed you. I'm a believer in slow-growth chemistry. You don't just throw guys together and they all know what to do, not outside of Hollywood disaster films.
Everything looked better. Those errant passes, those innumerable penalties, the frantic clears becoming turnovers, all of that was gone. How significant was it that Devin Setoguchi didn't make the trip with the Reign? The Reign beat the Bulls without Setoguchi in their first meeting, though it was very close. Setoguchi scored a lot in the games he played against San Francisco, but I'm not sure he accounted for every little thing going wrong for the Bulls before. Just as the Reign's lineup looked different, so did the Bulls'.
After their last meeting, there was reason to doubt the San Francisco Bulls' chances against the Ontario Reign. During the first 8 minutes, the Bulls didn't spend a lot of time outside their end of the ice. That turned out to be the case for most of the game. Thomas Heemskerk wasn't going to have an easy time of it in his second game in two nights. To his credit, he held up better than the rest of the team.
The first penalty was booed roundly before being announced, a tripping penalty against the Bulls' Clendenning. The Bulls killed that off and celebrated with a brief offensive rush, only to be pushed back again. The Bulls didn't give the Reign a lot of room to set up their offense, but they couldn't organize an attack of their own. Frantic passes off the glass went to opposing players, missed passes turned to icing.
With half of the first period gone, the Bulls only had one shot to the Reign's 7. The Reign scored two goals, just over 30 seconds apart. The Bulls took another penalty and killed it off but didn't manage to get another short until the second period.
Things are heating up. In Northern California, we can expect it to get really warm in the next few days, the Bulls won a game and something seems to be breaking loose in the NHL CBA talks. This tweet sums that last part up for me:
@TheFourthPeriod: Being told there's plenty of good traction tonight over CBA. Still a lot of work to be done, but this could move relatively quickly.
We'll see about that. In the mean time...
The San Francisco Bulls play the Ontario Reign at 7pm tonight. It's the team's third game ever, and their first road game. Ontario's NHL affiliate is the Los Angeles Kings. Ontario led the division at the end of last season but the playoffs weren't kind to them. Glancing over their roster I noticed a familiar name: Dan DaSilva, previously of the Worcester Sharks.