The San Francisco Bulls got their season underway this past weekend by splitting their opening two-game series against the Alaska Aces in Anchorage.
As their eight-game road trip continues, the team’s performance in their opening series speaks to how they might play starting tonight against the Idaho Steelheads.
On Offense: The Bulls were outshot by the Aces 45-19 despite garnering the 2-1 victory opening night, thanks to a late game goal by newcomer Brett Parnham. They were outshot 39-17 on Sunday when Alaska dominated 5-0, six of those shots coming from Bulls veteran Kris Belan.
Getting more shots seems like such a simplistic remedy for getting the team more wins as the team heads deeper into the season. San Francisco will have a chance to beef up those chances in their third game of the season against the Idaho Steelheads, who dropped their series opener 4-2 to the Utah Grizzlies.
Between The Pipes: At the start of training camp, head coach Pat Curcio said that starting goalie Tyler Beskorowany was going to have to have a big presence on this team:
“He needs to be a star. He needs to win us hockey games, and he needs to be a guy that we can look upon to say, ‘He’s in net, we’re going to feel comfortable that we have a chance to win.'”
He certainly showed play reminiscent of all the times he stopped the Bulls from scoring on him last season when he was with Idaho. Beskorowany lead the team to victory on Friday night, stopping 44 of 45 shots by the opposition. But he couldn’t solve the Aces the following day when Alaska got five goals past him.
Determining whether he’ll be consistent throughout the season cannot be determined solely on his performance in two games. It will be interesting to see how well he keeps the puck out of the net tonight in Boise against his old team the Steelheads.
PP and PK: One thing that we can determine after only two games is that the same prowess the Bulls showed on the penalty kill is already apparent again, displayed when they killed off two 5-on-3 power plays on Sunday.
San Francisco’s own attempts on the man advantage are slow to show, however. If Idaho has a slow start like they did in their opener, it could give the Bulls the opportunity to build up that stat.