Wednesday, December 5, 2012 Vs Peterborough Petes
It might be early, but this was a must win game for the Belleville Bulls. After losing 4-3 in the shoot out to the Petes last Thursday in Peterborough, Belleville needed to make a statement, they needed to win. Belleville is already battling the Generals for a playoff seed. Bulls and Generals have been trading 1st Place in the East division back and forth and as it stands right now 1st in the East Division gets you 2nd in the Conference and a Home seed in the playoffs till at least till the Conference final, 2nd place in the Division gets you somewhere around 5th in the Conference and you start the playoffs on the road. there are no easy nights in the OHL but the Petes are struggling only managing to win 7 games this season. these are games the Bulls have to win.
The Bulls as a club made the statement, mind you it was the hard way winning 3-2 in OT. Overtime games are never easy, Belleville leads the league in OT games. This was the 11th time the Bulls have gone to over time where they are 2-3 and 5-1 in the shoot out. There was no scoring in the 1st period. Malcolm Subban was strong making 9 saves and holding the fort on the penalty kill. At the other end the win less Andrew D'Agostini made 15 saves and looked poised to collect his 1st victory in 15 tries this season.
The Bulls opened the scoring at 19:26 of the second period when rookie Aaron Berisha scored his 5th from Joesph Cramarossa and Brendan Gaunce. Belleville out shot Peterborough 8-7, In the 3rd shots were 9-7 Belleville, but it was Nick Ritchie with his 7th from Francis Menard and Alan Quine at 6:52 that started the scoring in the 3rd and tied the game. the Bulls would regain the lead just before the midway point at 9:09 when Jordan Subban rang his 6th off the post and in with J Cramarossa and Berisha collecting the apples. The trio of Menard, Quine and Ritchie would strike again for the Petes to tie the game 2-2 at 11:21, this time it was Menard (13) scoring and Ritchie & Quine with the assists, The game almost didn't make it to extra time when Stephen Pierog fired a shot that beat Subban but hit the post with less then 5 seconds remaining.
In OT the Bulls held the shot lead 2-1 and finished the game out shooting the Petes 34-24. The game winner was a beauty,scored by Joseph Cramarossa. the play started with Jordan Subban behind his own net he passed the puck up to Brady Austin who feed the puck to Cramarossa just before the red line, Cramarossa picked up the puck and skated hard through the middle before putting his 6th between the wickets of Andrew D'Agostini giving the Bulls the victory 3-2.
Bulls : PP 0/3 , PK 2/2
3 Stars: 1- BEL Joseph Cramarossa (1G, 2A, 2- BEL Aaron Berisha (2A), 3- PBO Nick Ritchie (1G 1A) This is the kind of game the Bulls need from Joseph Cramarossa, The big over aged forward was dominating both with the puck and with the body.
Friday, December 7, 2012 @ The Kitchener Rangers
If you can't get up for a game vs the Rangers in Kitchener, they it doesn't matter if your a player or fan your doing something wrong. Kitchener could be the best Junior hockey market in Canada averaging over 6000 a game for the last six seasons. On this Friday night 7205 seen the Belleville Bulls defeat the Rangers 3-1.
Before the game Coach Burnett said that this would be the last game that Malcolm Subban would play for the Bulls before leaving on his quest to join Team Canada for this years Word Junior tournament. And Subban will go to the selection camp on a high note. he was named the games 2nd Star and was really strong in this game making 34 saves and helping to back stop the Bulls penalty killing unit to a perfect 7/7. Even though both Malcolm and Rangers GM & Head Coach Steve Spott who is also the Head Coach for Team Canada fluffed it off as just an other game, this was a chance for Subban to show Spott just how strong his game is. It would have been hard for Malcolm not to think about it and hard for Spott not to notice. In the Rangers net Franky Palazzese also had a strong game making 37 saves on 40 shots. The Rangers also have a fine PK unit and Palazzese helped them go 6/6 in this game.
The 1st goal of the game wasn't scored till 16:44 of the second when Garrett Hooey put home his 5th of the season on the rebound from a Jake Cardwell shot, Stephen Silas also assisted on the goal. This game had a lot of penalties and it came to a head in the 2nd when Bulls rookie Daniel De Sousa and Ranger Max Iafrate the son of former Bull Al dropped the mitts but at the same time an other Bulls rookie Chad Heffernan and Cory Genovese had a real good bout. Heffernan was really holding his own early but as the fight continued, Genovese took over and stole a close victory. Just before the period ended Brady Austin kept the Bulls lead in place by lifting a Rangers stick in the crease in the dying seconds of the period. After 40 minutes the Bulls were out shooting the Rangers 25-19 and leading 1-0.
Belleville took a two goal lead at 3:43 of the third when the hard working Carter Sandlak netted his 3rd from Hooey and Sergey Kuptsov. The two goal lead didn't last long, a minute and 26 seconds later at 4:29 Ben Thomson (6) beat Malcolm Subban with what could best be described as a "knuckle puck" that would have made both Russ Tyler and Tom Candiotti proud. Belleville would be out shoot 16-15 in the third but the Bulls would add an other goal at 7:52 to take the lead 3-1. Captain Brendan Gaunce would score the insurance marker his 9th from Aaron Berisha and Joesph Cramarossa.
Bulls PP 0/6, PK 7/7
3 Stars: 1- BEL Garrett Hooey (1G 1A), 2- BEL Malcolm Subban (34 SVS), 3- KIT Ben Thomson (1G)
Saturday, December 8, 2012 @ The Owen Sound Attack
The Bulls 4-2 victory over the Attack was their first in Owen Sound since December 6th of 2002. It was also the start of a stretch that could see Charlie Graham play at least 9 games in row with the thinking being that Malcolm Subban will be away with Team Canada. Coach Burnett has said that Charlie should and will start every game when Malcolm is away. its a great chance for Graham to improve his draft stock. Game One went really good for Charlie he made 40 saves and helped the PK unit go a perfect 6/6. This is a great opportunity for Graham to in his words "to step in and contribute". From what we've seen from Charlie the Bulls are in good hands. Owen Sound has a Team Canada goaltender hopeful of their own in Jordan Binnington, who made 24 saves on 28 shots.
Belleville jumped out to the dreaded two goal lead in the 1st period. 23 seconds in and Sergey Kuptsov put home his 6th from Garrett Hooey and Adam Bignell. Not to be out done by a fellow countryman Belleville's other Russian Import Daniil Zharkov scored his 8th at the 5 minute mark from Niki Petti and Brady Austin. After 20 minutes the Bulls were up 2-0 despite being out shoot 11-6
In the middle frame it was Owen Sound out shooting the Bulls 15-10 and scoring two goals to tie the game. At 7:16 Cameron Brace with his 22nd from Holden Cook. The middle frame seen both Niki Petti and Stephen Silas blocking some hard shots. The Attack would tie the game with 3 seconds left in the period when Nathan Chiarlitti put home his 1st goal as a member of the Attack and 1st of the season from Brace and Gemel Smith.
The third belong to Belleville and to be more specific it belonged to Charlie Graham and Garrett Hooey. Owen Sound out shoot Belleville again this time it was 16-12 for a 42-28 edge in the game. Charlie Graham was at his best in the third and was named the games 2nd star. The games 1st star was Garrett Hooey who scored both of Belleville's goals in the third. He 1st hit the mark with his at 3:08 from line mate Carter Sandlak and Jordan Subban and his 2nd goal of the night and 7th on year was scored with the man advantage when Kuptsov fired a shot on net and Hooey put home the rebound, Sandlak also picked up his 2nd apple of the night. Bulls win 4-2.
Bulls : PP 1/4 , PK 6/6
3 Stars: 1- BEL Garrett Hooey (2G 1A), 2- BEL Charlie Graham (40 SVS), 3- OS Cameron Brace (1G 1A).
Notes: Daniil Zharkov has been invited to try out for the Russian Team and after a good showing in the Super Series has a good chance to play in the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship......The Bulls are 7-2-0-1 in their last ten games and sit 1st in the East Division with a record of 18-9-3-1 good for 40 points.....Bulls PK is ranked 1st in the OHL and is very efficient at 89.2%, they went 15/15 this week...... Bulls PP is at the other end of the list it sits in 20th spot barely moving at a 13.1% pace.......Belleville is 4th in the OHL with 25 fighting majors. Rookie Chad Heffernan leads the way using up 5 of his 10 fight tickets, in total 12 different Bulls have dropped the mitts.....Jordan Subban with 22 points has returned to the top of the Bulls scoring leaders....Joseph Cramarossa seen a 6 game point streak come to an end Saturday night but the OA has really turned it on for the Bulls of late colletting 3G and 6A in the last 7 games.....Jake Worrad has missed the last 8 games with an concssion......Earlier I mentioned Russ Tyler and Tom Candiotti just in case you don't know who they are, Russ Tyler is the name of the kid from The Mighty Ducks movie that shoots a "knuckle puck and Tom Candiotti is a MLB Knuckle Ball pitcher who played for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1991.
Bulls Alumni: Former Bull Lubomir Stach who also played for Guelph and the Petes is playing for Znojmo Orli HC of the Austrian Hockey League.... Andre Deveaux who played for the Bulls and the Attack is playing in the AHL with the San Antonio Rampage. Deveaux is the 1st person born in the Bahamas to play in the NHL .... Former Bull and Ranger David Clarkson was playing for EC Red Bull Salzburg of the Austrian Hockey League during the lockout. The Bulls traded Clarkson to the Rangers for future consedrations, rumoured to be a small amount of cash.
Bulls start on the road in Week 13 on Wednesday in Ottawa, followed by a game in Oshawa on Friday night, and thier last game before the break is a home game vs Mississauga on Saturday night.