Bulls Fall In Season Opener to Pensacola 4-3 In OT
The Birmingham Bulls took the ice once again after a long and crazy 9 months off due to the Corona Virus Pandemic. The Bulls, who returned just 6 players from last years roster, were eager to get on the ice. Lead by new head man Craig Simchuk, the Bulls jumped out to an early 3-0 lead. Unfortunately, they let the lead squander and lost a nail biter 4-3 in OT, but still managed to pick up 1 pt. in the loss.
The scoring for the Bulls got started off just 1:51 into the first period with a goal from Tayler Pryce, from Quad City Storm who is an SPHL team who has opted out this season, with assists to Brendan Soucie, and Tanner Froese. Alec Bayer who is another newcomer to the Bulls from The Peoria Rivermen, who also opted out this season in SPHL, scored his first goal of the season just 5 minutes later with assists to Chris Lijdsman, and Brendan Soucie. Tranner Froese who is an ex-Pensacola Ice Flyer scored just one minute later on an assist by Brenday Soucie. Ending the 1st period was a goal by a non crowd favorite at the Pelham Civic Complex in Alec Hagaman who is normally a Peoria Riverman, with assists to Cam Bakker and Nick Neville.
The second period started off for the Bulls in a way nobody in the stands wanted to see with a lower body injury to one of the 1st line guys, Alec Bayer. In a post game press conference with Coach Craig Simchuk he did not have any further details to the injury. Pensacola closed the lead down to one with a goal at the 18:39 mark by Jordan Ernst.
The third period saw the action get more physical as the Bulls tried to hold on to the one goal lead. Pensacola’s Hagaman added his second goal of the night to tie the game just 2:39 into the third period. The Bulls fought off some late minute rushes by the Ice Flyers to push the game into OT.
The Bulls had 2 great opportunities in OT to win the game but in the end it was Pensacola’s Darren McCormick who finished the game off giving Pensacola the win and 2 points.
The Birmingham bulls will need to look and sharpen up special teams going forward if they look to win some games this season, going 0-4 on the Power Play. They also were a not-so-good 1-2 on their own Penalty Kills. Austin Lotz who returns to the Bulls this season was a spectacular 37 for 41 saves on the night.
The Bulls (0-0-1) will have a couple days off before returning to the ice in Pensacola, Florida, as they face off against the Ice Flyers (1-0-0) once again. They play each other 4 out of the first 5 games to start the 2020-2021 SPHL Season. Saturday January 2, the Bulls will make their first game against the Macon Mayhem (0-0) for their home opener in GA.