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Bulls Swallowed up in 6-4 Loss to Steelheads

November 11, 2013
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November 9, 2013 – Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Belleville Bulls

MISSISSAUGA, ON – The Mississauga Steelheads put on a good performance on Friday night at the Hershey Centre, scoring twice on the powerplay and capitalizing on their opportunities. The Bulls’ biggest opponent in this one however, might have been themselves. Despite outshooting Mississauga 42-36 and seeing five powerplays of their own, the Bulls took untimely penalties, suffered some bad bounces and in the words of captain Brendan Gaunce, “didn’t come out ready to play.”

Charlie Graham’s night lasted just under 12 minutes on Friday as he surrendered 2 goals on 10 shots. Bobby MacIntyre opened the scoring for Mississauga with a powerplay marker on a shot from the left circle. The puck got past Graham, ringing off the post before rebounding out and hitting Graham in the back before trickling over the goal line at 9:46. Sean Day and Greg DiTomaso gathered assists for the fish.

The Steelheads extended their lead just over two minutes later when Jared Walsh scored his first career OHL goal on a seemingly harmless wrister from the blueline. The shot handcuffed a possibly screened Graham, whistling over his glove to the delight of the 2,524 at the Hershey Centre.

Everett Clark’s fourth of the campaign gave Mississauga a 3-0 lead when the pesky forward crashed the net hard on a Sam Babintsev backhander that Jason Da Silva couldn’t handle. Clark was on the doorstep to knock in a rebound as the Bulls went scuffling into the intermission.

A new Bulls team emerged in the second as sustained pressure in the offensive zone forced a few Mississauga icings and led to some quality scoring chances. The Bulls inched back 3:46 into the second when Scott Simmonds established puck control in deep. With the help of Brendan Gaunce whose sprawling effort got the puck into the slot for David Tomasek, the Bulls got on the board on a rocket wrist shot past the glove of Spencer Martin.

Jake Marchment brought the Bulls to within one under five minutes later when Jordan Subban threw a puck towards the net. The rebound dropped to the right of Martin, with Marchment beating Mississauga defender Greg DiTomaso to the loose disc, knocking it into the open net for his second of the season at 8:37.

The Bulls controlled most of the play in the second period, but couldn’t strike on a powerplay midway through the frame. Belleville controlled the pace to the point where Steelheads Head Coach James Boyd was forced to call a timeout in the second to give his troops a rest as the Bulls lugged the puck inside Steelhead territory for a sustained period.

Artem Rasulov provided the Steelheads with a momentum killer for his first career OHL goal with 2:18 to go in the second, stalling a Belleville comeback and putting the fish back in front 4-2. Rasulov stepped over the Belleville blueline, pulled the puck into his feet a snapped a hard release over the glove of Da Silva from the top of the circle with assists to Babintsev and Di Tomaso.

Andrew Goldberg further nullified what had been a strong period from the Belleville side of things with a goal at 19:00. Goldberg was the beneficiary of a timely line change as he caught the Bulls watching the puck deep in their own zone as Bryson Cianfrone drew four black jerseys toward him before centering for Goldberg all alone in the slot for his seventh of the year.

With the wind out of the Belleville sails, Chad Heffernan did what he could to inspire his teammates. The feisty sophomore winger challenged a larger Nick Zottl to a round of fisticuffs as the two danced in the neutral zone off the ensuing faceoff to end the second.

Down 5-2 to start the third, the Bulls didn’t turn off the ignition. With Adam Bignell leaving the game midway through the second period as a result of a blocked shot, Garrett Hooey dropped back to the blueline as he did on Saturday night, filling in admirably. So admirably, in fact, that he found his eighth of the campaign walking in off the point to beat Martin under the glove at 6:28.

Back within two, the Bulls began running into penalty trouble, which put a damper on the comeback effort. The Brahmas would take three separate stick infractions in the third, but would draw within one on a powerplay of their own. Remi Elie scored one of the highlight reel variety, taking a neutral zone feed from Hooey to blow past Andrew Goldberg andNick Zottl before beating Martin low on the short side at 14:25.

A costly Belleville penalty with the score 5-4 in favour of Mississauga would give the Steelheads the opportunity they needed to pull away on Friday though. Nick Zottl put the icing on the cake with a wrist shot through a crowd at 16:59 for his second of the season to make the final score 6-4 for Mississauga.

The Bulls took the shooting category 42-36 but were not the victors on this night, seeing their record drop to 4-11-2-1.

“The penalties we took in the third period tonight were concerning and could very well have made an impact in the outcome of the game,” said Bulls Assistant CoachJake Grimes. “Our slow start put us in a hole out of the gate, which isn’t a problem we’ve struggled with a lot this season. We didn’t help our own cause tonight.”

Bulls captain Brendan Gaunce didn’t feel the team was prepared from the drop of the puck. “We didn’t come ready to play. I thought we played a pretty complete 50 minutes apart from the rough patch in the first. We had a couple of bad breaks, but we also hurt ourselves in the third and that isn’t going to win you games in this league.”

With the win, the Steelheads lead the Central Division with a record of 11-8-1-0, one point ahead of second placed Sudbury. Andrew Goldberg was named the first star on Friday with a goal and two assists.

Justin Bean, Andrew Ming, Luke Cairns and Cameron Brace were scratches for Belleville on Friday while Mississauga was without Brandon Belding,Damian Bourne and Andres Kopstals.

The Bulls try and shake off the loss, returning home on Saturday night to the Saginaw Spirit who defeated the Ottawa 67’s 7-3 on Friday. It’s Remembrance Day Game presented by Tim Horton’s and the Bulls ask everyone to wear red in honour of our troops and veterans. The puck drops at 7:05pm. For tickets, contact the Bulls box office at 613-966-8338.

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Ontario Hockey League Stories from November 9, 2013

  • Spits Top Whalers in Shootout to Win 7th Straight – Windsor Spitfires
  • Colts Down Troops, Who Lose Jarvis – North Bay Battalion
  • Generals Bounce Back against Niagara – Oshawa Generals
  • The Saginaw Spirit Go Two for Two on Current Eastern Conference – Saginaw Spirit
  • Otters Set Franchise Record with Ninth Straight Home Win – Erie Otters
  • 2014 MasterCard Memorial Cup Schedule and Game Times – Barrie Colts
  • IceDogs Drop 5-3 Decision to Oshawa – Niagara IceDogs
  • Otters Down Sting – Sarnia Sting
  • Morning Skate: Bulls Salute Troops and Veterans – Belleville Bulls
  • Bulls Swallowed up in 6-4 Loss to Steelheads – Belleville Bulls

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

Article source: http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=4703137

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