Momentum is everything in hockey and the San Francisco Bulls are looking to build on a dramatic come-from-behind win against the Utah Grizzlies over the weekend.
After losing nine of 10 games, the Bulls picked up four points over the weekend by knocking off the Idaho Steelheads 4-2 on Friday and the Grizzlies 4-3 in a shootout Sunday.
The Bulls (5-10-2, 12 points) trailed the Grizzlies 3-1 with less than three minutes to play on Sunday. But Peter Sivak scored at the 17:57 mark and then Justin Bowers tied the game with a second left on the clock. The Bulls earned two points by winning the game in a shootout.
“This is a big confidence booster,” coach Pat Curcio said.
New faces, new places: The Bulls made a string of roster moves last week in an effort to get younger and hungrier.
The team sent 25-year-old forward Chris Lawrence to the Orlando Solar Bears for future considerations and traded 27-year-old left wing Evan Barlow to the Reading Royals for Jesse Todd.
“These young guys that have NHL opportunities in front of them come here to work,” Curcio said.
The Bulls are also benefitting from the arrival of defenseman Mikael Tam and left wing Marek Viedensky (6-foot-4, 210 pounds), who were sent down from Worcester, the San Jose Sharks’ AHL affiliate.
Tam anchored the blue line throughout the weekend and Viedensky was the squad’s best forward, scoring two goals while putting a plus one on the stat sheet.
“Vieds is a big guy, he’s really strong on the puck,” captain Justin Bowers said. “He doesn’t loose a lot of battles and that’s key — that’s what we’ve been missing up front.”
Edmonton Oilers defenseman Theo Peckham was released Friday. Curcio said he had to return to Canada because of a family emergency.
Coach Clowe: Ryane Clowe hasn’t stepped on the ice for the Bulls in a game yet, but Curcio said he’s already making a difference behind the bench.
Clowe signed with the club two weeks ago, but he’s assuming a coaching role until he’s ready to take the ice.
“It’s fun,” Clowe said, adding: “You can see [the team] is getting a little better every game, which is nice. That’s the rewarding part.”
The Sharks veteran said he isn’t planning to suit up when the team hosts the Ontario Reign and the Stockton Thunder this weekend.
“If the time comes where I feel like I want to play or I feel like I need to, I’m sure there will be a spot there,” he said.