COW PALACE — Never mind the Christmas giveaways at the barn this past weekend.
If there was a theme to the San Francisco Bulls’ weekend series with the Colorado Eagles, it was that coming back from two- or three-goal deficits is both fashionable — and really difficult.
Coming off a 3-2 shootout victory over the Western Conference leaders Saturday night, the Bulls followed a similar pattern, coming from behind twice Sunday afternoon. But it wasn’t meant to be, as they dropped the rubber match to the Eagles 6-4.
Following the disappointing loss, head coach Pat Curcio sighed:
“That was a tough loss. I thought we deserved better this weekend. …We’ve got to find a way to stop the elite players against us.”
Colorado’s Riley Nelson got hold of a rebound and chipped it past Bulls goalie J.P. Anderson to give the Eagles an early 1-0 at 3:41 in the first frame. They added to the lead with a power play goal at 7:27, just as San Francisco was attempting to kill off a five-on-three.
But the Bulls retaliated soon after. Dean Ouellet — continuing a multi-game point streak — fed the puck to Adrian Foster who wristed the puck through traffic and past Adam Brown’s block to cut the lead in half 2-1. Kalvin Sagert also tallied an assist on the Bulls first goal of the afternoon.
Brett Findlay tied things up in the second stanza with a nice chip in that hit the back of Colorado’s net, knotting the game at 2-2.
Curcio commended the team’s efforts in coming from behind a third game in a row:
“I thought when we came back and tied the game, we had a good game from there. Then we had those two mistakes really quick…”
The visitors got two quick goals before the second stanza was over; the first a rebound shot by Trent Daavettila and the second 20 seconds later by Kevin Ulanski.
With the visitors up 4-2, Anderson was then pulled and Tyler Beskorowany took over in net.
A tough break for Anderson, particularly since he had seemed to toughen up between the pipes after the first two goals came at him so quick. Curcio said:
“He’s young, and I think that second goal is one that he’d like to have back. Then the third and fourth happened so fast. But you can only say that you’re ‘so young’ for so long. And eventually you’ve got to step up and make a difference.”
Both offenses exploded in the third frame. First, Colorado’s Jesse Mychan scored for the visitors after snagging the puck out from under Beskorowany’s legs mid-save.
Following an ugly goal that put Colorado up 5-2, San Francisco bounced back with two goals — the first by Luke Judson, the other courtesy of Jordan Morrison -— within a 20 second span.
With another game-tying goal in reach, the Bulls ran into penalty trouble and had to kill off a five-on-three. The Eagles were able to capitalize as Daavettila lined the puck through San Francisco’s defense for his second goal of the game, solidifying what would be the 6-4 final.
The Bulls have one home game next weekend in a three -ame set with the Stockton Thunder on Friday. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Adrian Foster has a three-game point streak…Dean Ouellet has six points in the last six games. …Tyler Gron has a four-game point streak. …Brett Findlay has goals in consecutive games. …Luke Judson scored his first professional goal.