Bulls silence Thunder in overtime

COW PALACE — You could say “interesting” is a good word to describe Thursday night’s San Francisco Bulls game.

“Interesting” would definitely describe the puck flying so high that it knocked out a cube in the center-ice jumbo-tron.

“Interesting” would definitely describe a lucky fan winning center Jordan Clendenning’s sweaty jersey right off his back in a raffle in the middle of the third period. Which, Clendenning described quite aptly:

“First for me during a game! Nice for the fan I guess. It was pretty wet, when I took it off I didn’t realize how heavy it was. . . But I hope he enjoyed it!”

And “interesting” all but sums up the back-and-forth match that gave way to the Bulls’ 4-3 overtime victory over the visiting Stockton Thunder in front of an announced crowd of 2,549.

President and head coach Pat Curcio said of the nail-biting Thursday:

“It was one of those games where you knew that the mistakes were going to start costing you. And I think that went for both teams. We made mistakes. . . they made mistakes. . . and the laws of average, if you keep making those mistakes you’re going to get scored on. And I think that’s what happened in the third period, where those mistakes started costing both teams.”

The Bulls, however, got their mistakes out of the way before the end of the third period rolled around.

San Francisco would score first as Marek Viedensky fed Daniil Tarasov six minutes in to give San Francisco a 1-0 advantage. The Bulls would keep the Thunder from scoring during the first period while outshooting Stockton 15-9.

Stockton would tie the game 1-1 at 10:57 in the second period with a power play goal by Harrison Reed, then take the lead whenEric Hunter’s shot glanced off Thomas Heemskerk’s glove to give the Thunder the 2-1 advantage early in the third.

San Francisco struck back a few minutes later, as Kris Belan would strike on the power play to tie the game at 2-2 with Andrew Crescenzi and Dylan King assisting. The Thunder would keep the tie brief with a power play goal of their own, courtesy of defenseman Ryan Constant.

The Bulls refused to let the late one-goal deficit get them down. Crescenzi would erupt on the power play with 2:56 remaining in regulation to tie the game 3-3 and send it into overtime.

Clendenning told SFBay after the game the team stepped up their urgency in the crucial third period:

“We knew we had to change our style… Our third period needs to be the best every night. … Try to score some goals, just get it done the simple way. Go to the net, turn pucks over, and we ended up finding a way … so it was a success.”

A double minor for high-sticking on Stockton center Phil Mangan carried over into overtime and San Francisco wasted little time in taking advantage. Sivak fired the puck past Thunder goalie Tyler Bunz 1:13 into overtime to give the Bulls their 4-3 win.

See? Told you it was “interesting.”

The San Francisco Bulls will be on the road this weekend with games at Ontario on Friday and Bakersfield on Sunday.

But all hell will break loose Monday when they take over the Shark Tank and host the Thunder at the HP Pavilion. The puck drops in San Jose at 7:30 p.m.