The Belleville Bulls had six days off since they lost their home opener to the Oshawa Generals. Plenty of time to prepare for 5 games in what would be the next 8 days. Week Three started with a visit from the Ottawa 67's at Home on Saturday night. And then on to Oshawa for a Thanksgiving day matinee on Monday, to try and even the season series with the Generals.
Saturday, October 6, 2012 Vs The Ottawa 67's
The home team was pumped up to play The 67's and it showed. Not only did the 67's knock Belleville out of the playoffs last spring, they have owned the The Bulls the last couple of seasons. In the last 24 regular season games the Bulls record Vs the 67's is 3 wins, 20 losses and 1 OT loss. Belleville wasn't about to let this season start that way. The Bulls carried the play in the 1st period hammering 16 shots on Ottawa's net minder rookie Jacob Blair. If not for the play of Blair in the 1st period Belleville could have had this one in the bag early. The Bulls had quality chance after chance and Blair just kept shutting the door. Belleville beat him once on a PP at 8:25 when OA Stephen Silas fired home a point shot over Blair's glove to give the Bulls a 1-0 lead. Garrett Hooey and Micheal Curtis drew assists on the goal. The PP unit of Hooey, Curtis, Carter Sandlak, Silas and Jason Shaw was very good firing 7 good shots before Silas scored. Belleville out shot Ottawa 16-5 in the 1st and showed more effort in 20 minutes then they might have showed in the whole game last week vs the Generals.
The 2nd period started with Joesph Cramarossa (Anaheim Ducks) in the sin bin and Ottawa scored the 1st power play goal the Bulls have gave up this season at 0:49 when Steve Janes put home his 1st from Jake Cardwell to tie the game 1-1. Before the 2nd frame ended the Trio of Curtis, Sandlak and Hooey were sharp on the PP again this time it was Hooey scoring his 1st at 16:29 from Curtis and Sandlak giving the home team a 2-1 lead going in to the 3rd period. In the middle frame the Bulls out shot the 67's 17-11. With the 3rd still to be played the Bulls had already fired 33 shots on net, a season high.
The third period seen Belleville take a 2 goal lead at 1:49 when Captain Brendan Gaunce (Vancouver Canucks) lifted the monkey off his back with his 1st of the season from Sergey Kuptsov and Bulls leading scorer Jordan Subban. Belleville's Import Daniil Zharkov (Edmonton Oilers) didn't want to be left out and also netted his 1st goal of the season at 3:10 from Scott Simmonds and Adam Bignell giving the home team a 4-1 lead. The 67's have the number one ranked power play in the OHL and at 7:44 it clicked when Sean Monahan wearing the "C" for the 67's drained his 4th from Cardwell and rookie Dante Salituro cutting the lead to 4-2. On a night with a lot of firsts, Bulls 1st round pick Niki Petti put home his 1st in the OHL at 8:44 on a nice pass from Kuptsov with Gaunce also getting a helper. At 15:15 Brett Gustavsen scored his 2nd from Tyler Graovac and Remy Giftopoulos but it was to little to late as the Bulls cruised the rest of the way to a 5-3 victory in front of 2401 fans dressed in purple supporting Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Ottawa out shot the Bulls 14-13 in final frame but Belleville held the edge in the game 46-30. Belleville's Austen Brassard use a fight ticket when he tangled with Ottawa D-Man Sean Callaghan after Malcolm Subban was bumped. Belleville's Power Play went 2/4 looking real good. The PK unit was also 2/4.
3 Stars- 1- Bulls Garrett Hooey (1G 1A), 2- Bulls Brendan Gaunce (1G 1A), 3- Bulls Niki Petti (1G)
I like to give 67's rookie goalie Jacob Blair a mention here, I know he gave up 5 goals but he played great making 41 saves, in this game. He gave Ottawa a chance to win. But his teammates couldn't take advantage of his fine play early in the game.
Monday, October 8, 2012 @ The Oshawa Generals
This game started real slow all most like both teams were in a turkey coma. The Bulls took 2 minor penalties in the 1st but the Generals were only able to muster 6 shots in the whole period. Belleville wasn't much better firing 8 shots all period and going 0/1 on the man advantage.
The middle frame seen the shot totals come up with Belleville out shooting Oshawa 12-11. Belleville was the only team to score when Brendan Gaunce lite the lamp for the 2nd time this season from Hooey and J.Subban at 12:53 giving the visitors a 1-0 lead. Bulls rookie Chad Heffernan use his 1st fight ticket in the OHL when he dusted it up with Josh Brown.
In the 3rd things got a little more lively and the OHL's leading scorer Boone Jenner (Columbus Blue Jackets) tied the game 1-1 at 0:20 with his 8th from Michael Dal Colle and Colin Suellentrop. The game stayed tied till 13:45 when Matt Petgrave gave the home team a 2-1 lead, putting his 1st behind Malcolm Subban from Phoenix Coyotes draft pick Lucas Lessio and Geoffrey Schemitsch. The Bulls would answer back less the a minute later at 14:37 when Austen Brassard (Winnipeg Jets) with his 3rd from Adam Bignell and rookie Aaron Berisha. The scoring wasn't done with game tied 2-2 and looking like OT was on the way. Generals rookie Dal Colle scored his 3rd from Scott Laughton (Philadelphia Flyers) and Brown to give the Generals a 3-2 lead with less then 2 minutes to go. But with the Belleville net empty at 19:36 Garrett Hooey got his 2nd of the season from Jason Shaw tying the game 3-3. It was a goal that Daniel Altshuller (Carolina Hurricanes) would like to have back as it trickled in off his glove.
The Generals would get the last laugh when Laughton scored the winner in over time at 2:16 from Schemitsch and Altshuller. Generals win 4-3Both teams had 27 shots and the Bulls PP went 0/3 and the PK was perfect going 4/4. 3 Stars -1- OSH Boone Jenner (1 G), 2- OSH Michael Dal Colle (1G 1A), 3-BEL Garrett Hooey (1G 1A).
Notes: In week three we seen the Bulls go 1-1. Saturday night seen Gaunce, Zharkov, Hooey and Silas score their 1st goals of the season. We seen Niki Petti who missed Monday's game with what the Bulls are calling an upper body injury score his 1st in the OHL also on Saturday night. Petti's goal was scored with the same stick that Silas used to score his goal. Jordan Subban is still the Bulls leading scorer with 6 points.and is 7th in the OHL Defencemen scoring race. Jordan is only 3 points off the pace and out of 6 d-man ahead of him 4 are already drafted to the NHL, 5 have 93 Birth dates and one is an overeager. Its been a nice start to the season for the youngest Subban. Speaking of Subbans Malcolm has played well putting up decent numbers, in six games he has gone 3-2-1 with a 2.47 GAA and a .917 SV%. He gave up 3 goals on Monday from 30 feet out so look for Charlie Graham to get a start in the coming week. Sergey Kuptsov has really started to fit in and has showen some nice passing skills. Rookie Aaron Berisha has played very well and will countue to make it tough for Coach Burnett to take him out of the line up. The Bulls kept their streak going of a fight in every game this season. The Belleville PP unit is running at a 20% clip and is ranked 10th in the OHL. After last year if the Bulls can stay in the Top Ten it would be a huge improvement. The PK unit is working 90.5% of the time. Its ranked 2nd in the OHL. It should stay top 5 all year.
Bulls Alumni Watch : Mike Vellucci who played for the Bulls from 83-86 picked up his 400th career win behind the bench for the Plymouth Whalers in a win over the Niagara Ice Dogs Saturday night. Adam Payerl was assigned to the ECHL Wheeling Nailers by the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.During the NHL lockout Bulls Alumni Jason Spezza will play for Rapperswil-Jona of the Switzerland National League A, and Matt Beleskey will play for the Coventry Blaze of the British Elite Hockey League.