Photos by Benjamin Kamps/SFBay
COW PALACE — A quiet start, an explosive second period, and the threat of overtime play? The San Francisco Bulls are picking up right where they left off last season.
Unfortunately Thursday night’s preseason debut didn’t end in a win for the home team, as a goal with less than a minute on the clock gave the visiting Bakersfield Condors a 3-2 win.
The Bulls went 0-6 on the power play, despite getting some good looks and plenty of pressure on Bakersfield goaltender Tyler Bunz.
Bulls starting goalie, J.P. Anderson looked dominant between the pipes, keeping 30 of the opposition’s shots out of the net.
San Francisco busted the game open in the second period. Returning defenseman Dylan King lined the puck past Bunz following the Bulls fourth power play attempt.
Not 38 seconds after taking the 1-0 lead, Ouellet fed the puck to Kris Belan who beat Bunz to give the home team the 2-0 advantage.
Newcomer Andrew Eastman registered an assist on the second goal, after which the Condors pulled Bunz for Paul Karpowich in goal.
Bakersfield retaliated with a pair of their own. Daniel Sobotka went top shelf to make it 2-1 with 13:52 left in the second. Then Blair Macauley’s shorthanded goal beat an J.P. Anderson, who sprawled out on his side to keep the puck out of the net.
The threat of preseason overtime play lurked, but the Condors put the game away with 25 seconds left in regulation. Anderson had done a great job of diffusing Bakersfield’s offensive rush in the closing period, but Gary Steffes was able to skip the puck past the young goalie’s right skate, solidifying the 3-2 fate before a sparse crowd of 922 announced fans.
The Bulls continue preseason play Saturday at the Cow Palace, hosting NorCal rival Stockton Thunder. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.