In Week 10, The Belleville Bulls travelled to Erie on Thursday, stopped over in St. Catharines on Friday and played a rare Sunday home game.
Thursday, November 22, 2012 @ The Erie Otters.
The Bulls spent the USA Thanksgiving day the same way they have spent 11 of the last 14 years, in Erie Pennsylvania. The have Bulls have had some good luck in Erie on Thanksgiving day. Including this years 4-3 SO victory the Bulls record in Erie on USA Thanksgiving Day is 7-4-1.
For a lot of Bulls Fans this was the 1st opportunity to see Conner McDavid. Is case you don't know McDavid was granted 'exceptional player' status by the OHL. The only other players given such eligibility were John Tavares in 2005 and Aaron Ekblad in 2011. Conner hasn't disappointed he is in the OHL's top 20 in scoring and is the leagues leading rookie in goals, assists and points. The Bulls did what few teams have been able to do and that was keep McDavid off the score sheet, the super rookie had a number of scoring chances but was unable to register a point ending a six game point streak.
Before all of the 3171 fans in Erie could get to their seats, Belleville scored. Captain Brendan Gaunce (Vancouver Canucks) scored his 7th on the season and his 3rd in 4 games since returning from injury, Austen Brassard (Winnipeg Jets) and Jake Cardwell drew the assists on the goal at 0:23. Neither Team would score score an other goal until the 2nd when Bulls rookie Aaron Berisha scored back to back goals at 3:37 and 7:38. the goals were Berisha's 3rd and 4th of the season and gave Belleville a 3 goal lead. Bulls rookie Chad Heffernan picked up his 1st and 2nd points in the OHL and Veteran Scott Simmonds also picked up assists on both of Berisha's goals.
With a three goal lead things were looking good for the Bulls, but as we have learned this season no lead is safe and this one was no different. Erie got goals from Conner Crisp (8) and Luke Cairns (5) in the 2nd to cut the lead to 3-2. At 12:07 of the 3rd period Malcolm Subban was beat by Travis Wood (2) on a long shot from outside of the blue line. Artem Kuleshov assisted on the goal. Overtime seen 5 shots by Belleville and 2 by Erie.. So we head to the shot out tied 3-3.
Coming in Belleville was 4-0 on the season in the shoot out, The Otters were 2-2. 1st two shooters were J.P. Labardo for Erie and Joseph Cramarossa for Belleville, both scored. Next it was Conner McDavid and Jordan Subban, McDavid was stopped and Jordan scored, The 3rd shooter for Erie was Luke Cairns and he scored. so after using his bread and butter with Cramarossa Sr and J Subban, Coach Burnett went with the hot hand and it paid off. After scoring 2 goals in Regulation Aaron Berisha scored on his 1st shoot out attempt in his young OHL career. Bulls win 4-3.
Bulls: PP 0/2, PK 4/4
3 Stars: 1- BEL Aaron Berisha (2G, SO Winner), 2- ERI Connor Crisp (1G, 1A), 3- BEL Chad Heffernan (2A).
Friday, November 23, 2012 @ The Niagara Icedogs.
The Bulls have really struggled at the Jack Gatecliff Arena and nothing changed as the Bulls fell to the Icedogs 4-1. The "Jack" is smaller then the typical OHL surface at 190 x 85 feet. The dimensions at the Yardman an international sized ice surface of 200 x 100 feet make it the largest ice surface in the Ontario Hockey League. Things happen very fast and maybe the Bulls can't adjust ? What ever it is, it has kept the Bulls from tasting victory in St. Catharines since November 27th 2009, In the Bulls last 6 games at the "Jack" they have only been able to generate 3 goals.
This one was playing in to Belleville's hands for 40 minutes, the teams traded goals in the 1st period. Niagara started their Big Line and right away the Icedogs took a 1-0 lead when Mitchell Theoret (NYI) popped his 10th with Ryan Strome (NYI) and Brett Ritchie (Dallas) getting the helpers. On the goal all three would extend point streaks to 9 games. Bulls would answer back at 17:56 when Micheal Curtis (5) scored a nice goal walking around Dougie Hamilton (Bruins) with Adam Bignell assisting.
In the 2nd period Malcolm Subban was on his game and held the Bulls in the game. He made 12 saves and was the reason the Bulls and Icedogs started the 3rd tied 1-1. But then in the 3rd where the Icedogs out shoot the the Bulls 16-9 and really bringing it to the Bulls. The OHL's leading scorer Ryan Strome scored his 16th & 17th (EN) to give the Icedogs a 4-1 victory over the Bulls.
Bulls PP 0/5, PK 1/1
3 Stars: 1- NIA Ryan Strome (2G 1A), 2- NIA Shayne Rover (1A), 3- BEL Malcolm Subban (32 SVS)
Sunday, November 25, 2012 Vs The Ottawa 67's
Belleville doesn't play at lot of Sunday home games, but if they all can be like this one maybe more is what they need with Belleville winning 3-0 Belleville played a very strong game from top to bottom, it was one of the better team games of the season.
The Bulls put 53 shots on 67's goal tender Clint Windsor. They beat him for 3 but Windsor was sharp and the goals that beat him, one was a bounce-in, one a rebound and the last one was the Bulls jumping on a loose puck.. Clint played a good game helping to keep the Bulls PP off the score sheet as it went 0/4. At the other end Malcolm Subban faced 23 shots to earn his 2nd shut out of the season, Malcolm's team mates blocked a lot of shots and keep the shots he faced to a minimum his shot total by period was 5-9-9. He was strong when he needed to be and helped to keep a version of the OHL's top ranked power play from scoring as the 67's went 0/5 with the man advantage.
Belleville got on the score board for the first time in the game at 11:48 of 2nd period, when Stephen Silas bounced in his 3rd of the season from Joseph Cramarossa and Niki Petti. Belleville's other two goals in the game came in the third. At 4:16 it was Sergey Kuptsov who was a healthy scratch Friday night scoring his 5th on a rebound with Garrett Hooey and Carter Sandlak assisting. The Bulls 3rd goal came off the stick of Sandlak, his 2nd of the season from Hooey and Silas. Bulls win 3-0.
Bulls : PP 0/4, PK 5/5
3 Stars: 1- BEL Malcolm Subban (23 SVS, SO), 2- OTT Clint Windsor (50 SVS), 3- BEL Garrett Hooey (2A).
Notes : Bulls sit a the top of the East Division and 2nd in the Eastern Conference with a record of 14-8-3-0 for 31 points. the Oshawa Generals also have 31 points but the Bulls have 2 games in hand......Bulls D-Man Brady Austin is a former Otter...Current Otter Adam Pelech (NYI) is the brother of Bulls Alumni Matt Pelech.....Former Bull Mack Lemmon wears #26 for the Icedogs was the a torn in the Bulls side all game.....Belleville native and former Bull Jason Shaw in wearing #71 for Saginaw and has 3 pts in 4 games......Joseph Cramarossa only has 3 goals on the season but has gone 4/5 in the shootout this season......After having 13 points in the first 13 games Jordan Subban has 3 points in the last 12 games......Carter Sandlak's goal Vs Ottawa was his 1st in 22 games.
Bulls Alumni: The Bulls hosted a Toronto Maple Leafs Game Day Experience on Sunday afternoon. And you cant talk about the Leafs and Bulls without bringing up the 1989 NHL Entry Draft. On the 17th of June in '89 the Draft was held in Minnesota and the Leafs had 3 picks in the 1st round. The Uncle of Bulls Alumni Robert Stellick and then Leafs GM Gord Stellick selected three Belleville Bulls with those picks. The Leafs selected Scott Thornton 3rd, Rob Pearson 12th and Steve Bancroft 21st. In total 8 Belleville Bulls have been drafted by the Maple Leafs. Joining those 3 from 1989 are Al Iafrate (4th in 1984), Brian Blad (175th in 1987), Kyle Wellwood (134th in 2001), Jan Chovan (213th in 2001) and Matt Stajan (57th in 2002). If you included Doug Gilmour who played for the Bulls in the Tier II days, then 11 Bulls have dressed for the Maple Leafs. The other 10 are : Iafrate, Todd Hawkins, Bryan Marchment, Chris McRae, Thornton, Pearson, Brandon Convery, Stajan, Wellwood, Kris Newbury and Andre Deveaux.. An other Bull was drafted in the 1989 drafted, current Bulls blue liner Adam Bignell's father Greg Bignell was drafted by the Detroit Redwings 201st overall.
Belleville will play the Petes in Peterborough on Thursday and return home on Saturday to play Kingston