Photos: Erik Hill/Anchorage Daily News
So what if the San Francisco Bulls were a country and a time zone away from the Bay Area. That didn’t keep SFBay from following the home team while they battled the Aces up in the 16-degrees of frozen tundra that is Anchorage, Alaska.
And it would be a beauty. In the Bulls’ first meetup with the Aces since October, San Francisco notched a 5-2 victory over the depleted, post-NHL lockout Aces.
The Bulls would strike first with 9:25 left in the first period on a slap shot by Rob Kwiet. All-Star Dean Ouellet and newcomer Rylan Galiardi would pick up assists.
The Aces would answer at 11:51, as Zach Harrison would shoot the puck past the glove of San Francisco goaltender Taylor Nelson to tie the game at 1-1.
The tie would carry through a long, thrashy middle-ice scrap — courtesy of Hans Benson and Alaska’s Dustin Molle — and into the first intermission.
Following a penalty kill in the second period, Alex Tuckerman would feed the puck to Christian Ouellet for the 21-year-old’s first goal in Bulls a sweater to give San Francisco a 2-1 advantage. Jordan Morrison would also pick up an assist.
The Aces would answer back to tie the score yet again when Chris Clackson beat Nelson at 18:25 in the period.
San Francisco would battle to break the tie through the first half of the third period. Then at 9:56, Kwiet would hold possession of the puck and pass it to Jordan Clendenning, who would pirouette and get a shot past goalie Mark Guggenberger to take the score to 3-2 in favor of the Bulls.
An up-close wrister from Christian Ouellet would give San Francisco a 4-2 lead with 5:48 left in the third period. The Aces would pull Guggenberger late, but it would only allow the Bulls to strike again as Cody Carlson shot the puck into the empty net with 14 seconds left in regulation. The goal would give the Bulls the 5-2 victory.
Nelson turned away 23 of 25 shots on the night to pick up his fifth win of the season in front of 4,072 fans at Sullivan Arena.
SFBay will continue coverage of the Bulls’ weekend series in Alaska tomorrow night, when the Bulls their three-game series against the Aces. The puck drops at 8:15 p.m.