DALY CITY — Kyle Bodie is set to make his debut with the San Francisco Bulls against the Idaho Steelheads (4-4-2) on Saturday at the Cow Palace and the team is hoping the rookie will help to absorb the losses of Dale Mitchell and Ryan McDonough.
The Bulls (4-5-1) acquired Bodie, who attended Florida Panthers' training camp in September, from the Cincinnati Cyclones on Wednesday and coach Pat Curcio expects him to skate on the team's second line with Dean Ouellet and Brett Parnham.
Curcio said Bodie brings much-needed skill to the forward position, but he can't be expected to single-handedly fill the void left by Mitchell and McDonough's injuries.
“We're not going to put any added pressure on Bodie, we just need him to do his best,” Curcio said.
In 122 NCAA games with Union College, Bodie scored a total of 85 points (28 goals, 57 assists).
McDonough (concussion) is slated to be on injured reserve until Nov. 27 and Mitchell (back) will be off the ice until Nov. 28 at the earliest. The nature of both players' injuries means the players' return dates are uncertain.
The losses are a blow to the Bulls' offense, which is averaging just 1.6 goals per game through 10 contests.
“Our best players have to be even better — our Dean Ouellet's, our Mark Lee's,” Curcio said.
Beskorowany slated to get rest: With three games in three days, the Bulls' workhorse in between the pipes, Tyler Beskorowany, is scheduled to get a breather.
Curcio said Beskorowany, who's started eight of 10 games this season, took the blue paint against his former club on Friday and backup J.P. Anderson is tentatively slated to get the start on Saturday.
“We play [six] games in the next nine days and we're going to need everyone going, so he's going to get his opportunity,” Curcio said.
Anderson, a rookie who played in the Ontario Hockey League last year with the Sarnia Sting, has produced a 2.02 goals against average and a .911 save percentage in two starts with the Bulls this season.
Curcio said Anderson, who is property of the Worcester Sharks, stays warm by taking extra shots in practice.
Anderson's style of play is night and day from Beskorowany, who's structured and controlled, blocking the net with his 6-foot-5, 210-pound frame.
“He's exciting to watch,” Curcio said, referring to Anderson. “He's a little bit unorthodox, a butterfly goalie who catches with his opposite hand. He's all over the place — he battles hard, he flops around to makes saves, he goes to war in the net.”
Keeping the gloves on: Fans at the Cow Palace are anxious to see captain Scott Langdon's gloves drop this season, but a fight isn't in the game plan.
Last season, opposing teams goaded the Bulls into fights knowing they could get the squad's best players off the ice. But Curcio is telling his guys to be selective this year.
“When you're fighting all the time, you're actually depleting your lineup,” Curcio said. “You have to fight with a purpose.”
The Bulls coach said he wants his team to be tough and smart.
“I want us to be tough, but tough in a protection mode,” he said. “If a guy does something, takes liberties on our players, you take responsibility — that's when it's time to fight.”