COW PALACE — You say the rain kept you indoors Friday night? Pssshhhh.
It would’ve taken a lot more than gnarly weather to silence the loudest crowd of 3,317 hockey fans I’ve ever heard, who were present to cheer on their San Francisco Bulls as they defeated the Idaho Steelheads, 4-2.
It was a big win Friday night, considering the visiting Steelheads hadn’t lost in regulation in 11 games. Head coach Pat Curcio said post-game it was a win that the team had definitely earned:
“The guys worked hard, they deserve a lot of credit. We aren’t going to be a team that wins easy. It’s going to take a lot of work every night.”
San Francisco struck first with a shot by new Worchester Sharks acquisition Marek Viednesky, with assistance from fellow Slovak Peter Sivak, 7:57 into the first period. The goal spelled well for the Bulls, who are now 3-1 when scoring first.
Said Coach Curcio when asked about the motivation behind getting the first goal:
“I think it’s a huge motivator, I think it’s just so hard to do. … I think if we can try to continue to get the first goal and get some flow, I think it’ll give us the best opportunity to win.”
With the defense wide awake and a handful of blocked shots by goalie Thomas Heemskerk the Bulls ended the first period with a 1-0 advantage.
The Steelheads would turn up the offensive heat in the second period, with two goals within 22 seconds of each other. The first coming from Jeremie Blain, assisted by Justin Dowling and Kael Mouillierat, and the second courtesy of forward David de Kastrozza with assistance from Mouillierat.
Not that a one-point deficit was going to keep the Bulls down, no sir. Defenseman Sacha Guimond, assisted by centers Dean Ouellet and Justin Bowers, would bring the game to a tie with 12:37 left in the period.
With the game tied going into the third, were the Bulls focused on their opponents’ glaring winning record? Said Coach Curcio:
“Well I didn’t want to focus on them too much. All I wanted to do was make sure we were doing the right things.”
And the “right things” they performed. After killing a two-minute penalty shortly into the period, forward Alex Tuckerman, — assisted by left wing Kris Belan — took a kneeling shot to give San Francisco the 3-2 lead 5:21 minutes into the third.
The Bulls didn’t stop there, as defensive-man Scott Langdon put the puck back in Idaho’s net to give San Francisco a 4-2 advantage, which would carry them to victory.
See, Readerland? Aren’t you bummed you let the rain scare you from going to such an exciting game?
Don’t worry, kids. There’s plenty more hockey this weekend, as the Bulls host the Utah Grizzlies both Saturday and Sunday at the Cow Palace. The puck drops Saturday at 7:15 p.m., with Sunday’s game beginning at 2:15 p.m.