Belleville Bulls Week In Review: Week 9
Week 9 seen the Belleville Bulls pick up 4 of 6 points going 2-1 with home victories over Guelph in the shoot out on Wednesday and in overtime Vs Plymouth on Saturday. The lose came in Oshawa Friday night.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 Vs Guelph Storm
This game was a typical Belleville Bulls game, low scoring, impressive penalty killing and great goal tending. Now normally when you hear those things you think okay Belleville used their plan and it worked, Right ? Well yeah it did work and the Bulls won 2-1 in a shoot out. But both teams used that strategy and it was a great game.
In what could be a preview of a Team Canada Vs Team USA game at the IIHF Under 20 tournament this winter, Team Canada hopeful and Boston Bruins prospect Malcolm Subban started for the Bulls and was outstanding, to be honest Malcolm covers up so much. Belleville has the number one ranked pk unit in the OHL and it starts with Subban. He keeps Belleville in games, on this night he made 35 saves and kept the low scoring Bulls of Belleville in the game as he shut the door on one of the highest scoring team in the OHL, and with Malcolm in net for the shoot out and in the words of Bulls play by play man Jack Miller "You knew this One, was Never in Doubt".
Not only could this be a World Jr. preview this could be a Northeast Division match up years from now. Because The Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Garret Sparks matched Subban save for save in regulation but in OT when the Bulls were pressing and out shooting the Storm 7-2, he was at the top of his game. In total the Illinois native made 40 saves. The Storm lean heavily on Sparks as he's ranked 1st in the OHL in minutes played, shots against and saves. If they find a way to cut thier goals against down and he plays like that, they will become even tougher to beat. Easier to keep the goal against down Vs Belleville compared to the likes of Owen Sound and London though.
Belleville welcomed Captain Brendan Gaunce (Vancouver Canucks) back to the line up and he presence was felt in the 1st period when he scored his 5th of the year on the power play from newly acquired Jake Cardwell and Stephen Silas to put Belleville up 1-0. The goal was scored because Cardwell took a shot on the power play not something the Bulls always do with great success. They play looked like it was by design with Cardwell shooting it off the end boards and it coming out to Gaunce. the hope is that moving forward and down the stretch it (the PP) gets stronger as the team plays more with Cardwell and with Brendan back in the line up.
Guelph also scored their goal on the power play but it was in the 2nd when Russian Import Andrey Pedan (New York Islanders) put his 7th past Subban from Tanner Richard (Tampa Bay) and Zac Leslie, to tie the game 1-1. The rest of the way it was the Malcolm Subban and Garret Sparks show, In the shoot out Guelph used Jason Dickinson, Brock McGinn and Scott Kosmachuk only McGinn was able to beat Malcolm. For the Bulls both Joseph Cramarossa (Anaheim) and Jordan Subban scored.
Bulls - PP 1/9 , PK 5/6
3 Stars : 1- BEL Malcolm Subban (35 SVS), 2- GUE Garret Sparks (40 SVS), 3- BEL Jordan Subban (SO Winner)
Friday, November 16, 2012 @ Oshawa Generals
Coming in the Bulls were feeling good. They had just held one of the highest scoring teams in the OHL to one goal and were sitting in 1st place in the East Division. The Generals where on a four game losing streak, they were with out Lucas Lessio (,Phoenix Coyotes), and OA Matt Petgrave due to injury and Scott Laughton ( Philadelphia Flyers) serving the last game of a 10 game suspension. You would think that the Generals would be ripe for the picking right ? Not so fast the Generals showed off there depth by whipping the Bulls 5-1.
The Generals got two goals from Tyler Biggs (Toronto Maple Leafs) his 10th and 11th, with his 1st goal coming short handed to open the scoring. Cole Cassels also had two goals for the home team his 2nd and 3rd. Cassels also had an assist on the night. Scott Sabourin rounded out the scoring for Oshawa with his 10th in the third period. Stephen Silas scored the Bulls lone goal his 2nd of the season and on the PP at 11:32 of the 1st from Jake Worrad and Sergey Kuptsov.
The Generals tried to let Belleville in the game early. Taking a pair of delay of game penalties and a too many men call in the 1st. Even though Belleville's PP scored in the 1st but was typical of Belleville the rest of the way. Malcolm Subban got the start for the Bulls and wasn't the reason Belleville didn't win, he wasn't as spectacular as he can be, but he was okay. Malcolm made 25 saves on 30 shots. Saying that Generals net minder Daniel Altshuller (Carolina Hurricanes) was good but he didn't need to stand on his head. He made 26 saves on 27 shots. In the third, when Belleville was controlling the play on the perimeter, and they refused to go to the net on a regular basis and a goalie as good as Altshuller needs to have traffic and be challenged, made to move out of his comfort zone. The Bulls didn't do that.
Bulls : PP 1/7 , PK 3/4
3 Stars: 1- OSH Cole Cassels (2G 1A), 2- OSH Tyler Biggs (2G), 3- OSH Sebastian Uvira (2A)
Saturday, November 17, 2012 Vs The Plymouth Whalers
The Whalers came to Belleville a night early and took in a practise on the big ice at the Yardman. Plymouth only comes to Belleville once a year and they wanted some kind a revenge for the Bulls spoiling their home opener on September 22nd. That night in Wayne County, in the U.S. state of Michigan these teams went to a shot out with the Bulls winning 3-2. This night in Hastings County in the Canadian Province of Ontario these teams went to over time and again it was Belleville winning 3-2.
Malcolm Subban was the goalie both nights for Belleville, and in both games he made 30 or more saves. He made 30 on Saturday night and played a real good game. His fine effort along with that of the Bulls penalty killing unit was very strong looking good and was gaining momentum in the game for the Bulls. For Plymouth it was rookie Alex Nedeljkovic making his first career OHL start. A goalie's 1st game in the OHL can be nerve racking I'm sure. Some rookies start on the road in their 1st game, trying to get the butterflies out before facing the home crowd, meaning its easier to get booed on the road then it is at home. Making your 1st start in Belleville adds a different look as the building is unique with the Olympic sized ice changing the angles that goalies play and giving power plays and skill players more time and room. The native of Parma,Ohio looked good making 25 saves.
Former Bull Alex Alardi scored twice for the Whalers, he notched the games first goal his 8th in the second period from Ryan Hartman and Tom Wilson (Washington Capitals). Before Alardi could score again at 14:29 of the third from Michael Whaley and Colin MacDonald to send the game to over time, the Belleville Bulls scored two goals to tie the game. Brendan Gaunce scored his 6th at 11:15 of the 2nd from Micheal Curtis and Austen Brassard (Winnipeg Jets).
And in the third is was Jordan Subban with his 5 from Garrett Hooey and Carter Sandlak at 13:24, just over a minute before Alardi scored the game tying goal we mentioned earlier.
In overtime newest Bulls Jake Cardwell snapped his 1st as a Bull and 4th on the season from Stephen Silas and Brassard.
Bulls PP 0/6, PK 4/4.
3 Stars: 1- BEL Brendan Gaunce (1G), 2- PLY Alex Aleardi (2G), 3- BEL Jake Cardwell (1G).
Notes: Bulls rookies Niki Petti and Daniel De Sousa have been named to Team Ontario that will play at the World Under 17 Hockey Challenge from December 29th to January 4th in Quebec. Bulls Assistant General Manager and Director of Player Personnel Barclay Branch is the Director of Operations for Team Ontario, Bulls Equipment Manager Matt Sands will hold the same post on Team Ontario as well. Bulls sit 2nd in the Eastern Conference and are 1st in the East Division with a record of 12-7-3-0. Bulls have scored a league low 52 goals and have gave up 54 only the Rangers have gave up less with 52....The PP has dropped to 18th and the PK in still rolling, sitting 1st in the OHL with a success rate at 87.8%......iIn the Bulls game Saturday night Vs Plymouth, Stephen Silas played in his 286th game as a Belleville Bulls tying Geoff Killing for the All-Time team lead. If Silas plays every game this year and there is no reason to think he wont he is very durable only missing 8 games in his career, he will have played 332. If that happens, at the end of the season Silas could sit in 2nd place on the OHL's All Time Games played list behind Former Bull Cory Tanaka (337) but Sarnia's Charles Sarault will have something to say right now he sits at 289 OHL games played and if he plays in the Stings next 45 games he will have played 334 games....Jordan Subban (17th) and Sergey Kuptsov (25th) are among the OHL's top 25 draft eligible skaters heading towards the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
In Week Ten the Bulls will travel to Erie for their annual USA Thanksgiving Day game stop in st.Catheraines on friday before returning home to play the 67's in a rare sunday home game.