Belleville Bulls Split the Weekend
How did the weekend go for the Belleville Bulls ? Well Friday night they where on top of the World in St.Catharines winning 7-2 over the Niagara Icedogs and picking up their first victory since November 27th 2009 at the Jack Gatecliff Arena. And then Saturday night Vs Owen Sound at home it was the hard fall back to Earth with a 4-0 loss to the Attack.
The 7 goals scored at the "Jack" were more then the Bulls had scored in their last 5 trips combined. They held some practises on the smaller ice surfaces at the Quinte Sport and Wellness Centre leading up to the game, maybe it worked ? It worked for Captain Brendan Gaunce. The Vancouver Canucks prospect was very good picking 1G & 3A. He was a plus 6 on the night and was named the games 1st Star. Gaunce wasn't alone, Minnesota Wild draft pick Tyler Graovac also picked up for points with 2G & 2A and was also plus 6. Gaunce was quoted on the Bulls web site saying what an impact Graovac and the newly acquired Alan Quine have had on the line up. "The guys we've brought in here aren't just adding to the overall skill level," Gaunce said. "Graovac and Quine have also boosted the performances of the player around them and guys, including myself, are feeding off the confidence we've all gained. The chemistry we've had injected into our lineup as been huge offensively.".
The 1st period ended tied 2-2. Niagara got the games 1st goal at 12:24 on the power play from Ryan Strome. It was the Islanders prospect's 23rd on the season assisted by Tyler Mort and Aaron Haydon. Then Belleville would answer with 2 goal in 24 seconds. At 14:03 Stephen Silas would get his first goal of the game and his 4th overall from Joesph Cramarossa (Anaheim) and Alan Quine (Detroit). Graovac scored the next goal at 14:27 from Jake Worrad and Austen Brassard (Winnipeg). Shots in the 1st where 19-9 in Belleville's favour.
OA Silas had the 3rd multi-goal game of his career scoring 2 goals including the game winner in the 2nd period. Silas' goal was the first of five that the Bulls would score in a row. Gaunce (17) unassisted and Jake Cardwell (8) from Graovac rounded out the scoring in the second. Belleville had the edge in shots again firing 14 on net while Niagara had 8.
In the 3rd it was Belleville out shooting the Icedogs 13-7 and out scoring them 2-0 to win the game 7-2. Graovac scored his second of the game and 24th on the year from Gaunce and Quine at 12:48. Belleville's 7th goal of the game was scored by Micheal Curtis from Gaunce at 16:26. The goal gives Curtis 9 on the year. It was real nice to see the Mississauga native get a goal, he played a great game doing all the things that Coach Burnett asks killing penalties and blocking shots and working his tail off at both ends of the ice,
Malcolm Subban made his 1st start for the Belleville Bulls since a 3-1 victory over the Rangers on December 7th in Kitchener. The Bruin's prospect did look great , but he didn't look bad. He'd probably admit that the second goal he would like to have back, but he got stronger as the game went on, and was strong when the Bulls killed a 2 man Niagara advantage. It was nice to see the Bulls step up for Malcolm. Its not always easy coming back to the OHL after playing in a tournament as high of calibre as the World Jr Championships. Its a different pace, and different skill level. He faced 24 shots and will continue to adjust back to life in the OHL
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Belleville came in to this game on a four game winning streak that had seen them out score their opponents 25-9. Belleville is known for being a fine defencive team but in the last four games their offencive had become their best defencive. Everything was rolling. (minus the power play that went 0/6 the night before), the new lines were still clicking, the penalty killing unit was strong as ever, Charlie Graham has played great and Malcolm Subban was making his 2nd straight start.
But all good things come to end and on a spectacular 32 save effort from Owen Sound's goalie Jordan Binnington. The Attack handed The Bulls a 4-0 loss breaking up Belleville's for game winning streak and in the process Binnington became the 1st goalie in Owen Sound franchise history to shut out the Bulls. Malcolm Subban Vs Jordan Binnington was a match up of Team Canada goaltenders that many of us couldn't wait to see. Malcolm didn't play bad, he stopped 25 of 29 shots and was strong on the penalty kill again. But on this night, Binnington a St Louis Blues prospect was really on his game in the 2nd period the Bulls stats department had the scoring chances 9-0 for Belleville. All game the majority of shots that Jordan faced were quality. It was our old friend from the 67's now playing for the Attack Cody Ceci scoring the games 1st goal and the game winner in the 1st period. All three other Owen Sound goals were scored in the 3rd by Kyle Hope, Holden Cook and Daniel Catenacci. Cook and Catenacci also had single assists giving them and Cameron Brace who had 2 apples, two point games. Kurtis Gabriel and Gemel Smith added single helpers.
The Bulls had scoring chances but they met a top tier goalie at the top of his game. Its going to happen. This is the 1st loss since the new guys came on broad. The Bulls didn't do things that this team can do well, its nice to score and you have to to win but the Bulls can't be losing battles for the puck, sometimes standing around in their own zone. This game marked the 1st time in 4 games that Belleville wasn't on the winning side in the face dot. Coach Burnett mentioned it in the Intell saying "....we lost some battles. This is the first time since we got the new guys that we weren't on the right side of the faceoff battles. That's a big thing, not starting with the Puck". Burnett when on to talk about if there is such thing as a good loss, then this might be it, to realize how much work then have to do moving forward.
Notes: Bulls are 13-2-0-2 vs the Western Conference and are 25-13-3-2 overall good for 55 pts putting them in 2nd place in the East Division....Chad Heffernan leads all OHL rookies with 56 pims....