Sometimes after the Christmas Break teams can come out a little flat, and with this years Christmas break feeling longer then normal running from December 15th to the 28th, we weren't sure what to expect. Bulls scratches for both games where Malcolm Subban and Daniil Zharkov both away at the World Junior Championship, Subban with Canada and Zharkov with Team Russia, also out of the line up were rookies Niki Petti and Daniel De Sousa both with Team Ontario at the U17 World Challenge, but Santa must have treated the remaining Bulls players right because Week 14 seen the Bulls win 6-3 over the Storm in Guelph and defeat the Kitchener Rangers 3-2 in Belleville.
Friday, December 28, 2012 @ The Guelph Storm.
The Belleville Bulls played as good of a 1st period in this game, as I've seen them play all year. There wasn't a lot of offence in the first half of the period but the Bulls carried the play. Big bodies like Captain Brendan Gaunce (Canucks), Joesph Cramarossa (Ducks) and Austen Brassard (Jets) helped the Bulls dominate the play along the boards. It was Brassard that opened the scoring at 13:12 when he walked around Leafs Prospect Matt Finn and wired a slap shot past Keegan Wilson to make it 1-0 Belleville, J Cramarossa picked up the lone assist on the play. Belleville added an other goal in the 1st at 17:13 when rookie Chad Heffernan tapped in his 2nd of the season on a nice pass from Gaunce. Also picking up an assist on the goal was Micheal Cramarossa. The assist marks Micheal's 1st OHL point.
We have talked about the Bulls special teams all season, most of the time we tell you how good the penalty killing has been, and to be frank how bad the power play is. But in the 2nd period of this game both showed up, The PK unit scored on a lucky bounce early at 1:03 when Gaunce won the draw cleanly to Jake Cardwell, who dumped the puck out and on the dump it caught an edge, changing direction and beating Wilson to make 3-0. Guelph's power play would get on the score sheet. Brock McGinn scored his 10th from Andrey Pedan and Finn at 10:54 to make 3-1. But the Bulls Power play took advantage of a high sticking double minor to Justin Auger scoring twice. Carter Sandlak (4) scored the 1st PP goal at 14:20 from Sergey Kuptsov and Jordan Subban. Less then a minute later at 15:06 Gaunce scored his 11th from Brassard and Micheal Curtis. The Gaunce goal was the end of the night for Guelph goalie Keegan Wilson, he was pulled in favour of Jason DaSilva after giving up 5 goals on 25 shots. After 40 minutes Belleville was leading the Storm 5-1.
In the 3rd it was Guelph that scored 1st when Hunter Garlent (7) scored on the power play at 10:53 from Finn and Zac Leslie. making the score 5-2, but Belleville would tie their season high goal out put when the sixth different player scored for the Bulls. This time it was Joesph Cramarossa with his 7th from Brassard at 11:39. Joe's goal was the Bulls 1st shot on goal in the 3rd. The hometown Storm would get a goal from Leslie late but it was to late, The Bulls would win 6-3.
Bulls PP:2/6, PK 4/6, Shots BEL - 33, GUE - 37
3 Stars 1- BEL Brendan Gaunce (1G 2A), 2- BEL Austen Brassard (1G 2A), 3- BEL Joseph Cramarossa (1G 1A)
Saturday, December 29, 2012 Vs The Kitchener Rangers
Belleville has won more then their share of games because of Strong goal tending and special teams. Normally its Malcolm Subban and the PK unit, but this time it was Charlie Graham and the Power Play that lead the Bulls to a 3-2 win over the Rangers. At 15:49 of the 1st period Micheal Curtis scored his 7th with the man advantage from Jordan Subban and Jake Worrad. Charlie graham was strong in the first frame making 15 saves. Kitchener out shoot Belleville 15-9 in the period.
In the second it was Keli Grant who tied the game 1-1 with his 2nd goal of the year from Curtis Meighan at 7:55. Brendan Gaunce would restore Belleville's lead with 13 seconds left in the period with his 12th on the power play from Stephen Silas and Curtis. Belleville out shot the Rangers 13-7.
In the 3rd it was the Bulls scoring 1st at 8:36 when Jake Cardwell scored his 6th from Austen Brassard and Gaunce Shots where tied 14-14 in the period and 36-36 in the game. Keli Grant added his 2nd of the game at 16:40 to cut the lead to one. Thanks to some great play by Charlie Graham the Bulls hung on to win 3-2. Bulls : PP 2/3 ,PK 1/1 3 Stars : 1- BEL Brendan Gaunce (1G 1A), 2- BEL Micheal Curtis (1G 1A), 3- KIT Keli Grant (2G)
Notes: In Week 14 Bulls Captain and Vancouver Canucks Prospect Brendan Gaunce recorded two goals, three assists and had a +3 rating and was named 1st star in victories over Guelph and Kitchener leading to Brendan being named OHL Player of the Week. Gaunce leads the Bulls with 12 Goals and he plays a key role on the PK unit...Jordan Subban leads the Team with 26 pts...Jake Cardwell has 6 goals on the season, 4 are game winners..Belleville's record when they score the 1st goal in the game is 17-2-3-1..Bulls 1st and 2nd Round Draft picks Niki Petti (1A 2 PIM) and Daniel De Sousa (1G 3A 8 PIM) both played with Team Ontario at the Under 17 World Challenge,....Bulls Import Daniil Zharkov has been playing with Team Russia at the WJC, and has played pretty well, he has seen time on Russia's top line and was even seen killing penalties. Daniil has scored 1 goal in 6 games so far and has played with some jump, lets hope it follows him back to the Yardman because the Bulls need him to keep it rolling.....As we all know Malcolm Subban was handed the starters job just before the tournament started and after two less then stellar games Vs Germany and Slovakia, Malcolm played two very fine games Vs USA where he was Canada's player of the Game and Russia. He finished the Round Robin with a record of 4-0 with a 2.00 GAA and save % over .923. But instead his tournment will be remembered for the 4 goals he gave up to Team USA in the semi-final. Fair or not thats what Malcolm has to deal with and there is no reason not to think that he wont handle it like a pro and bounce back and continue his strong MVP like play, with his Belleville Bulls. He can learn a lot from this and Malcolm is going to play in a lot of big games over his career inculding this season, he's now had the biggest spot light of all shone on him and with the strong support he has from his family, the Belleville Bulls and his fans, I say this learning experanice at this age only makes him better now and in the future depending how he handles it.
In Week 15 the Bulls have already played a home and home with the Petes and will host the Greyhounds on Saturday night.