This article begins with news coming down this week from the SPHL that Bulls goalie Austin Lotz has been suspended indefinitely for eight games beginning with this past Saturdays game against Huntsville. I will get into the juice of what happened later in this post. The Bulls went 1-1 losing what was basically a WWE match on ice in Pensacola 1-4, and then beating those hated Havoc from up in north Alabama 4-1.
The first period of the game down in Penscola, FL had everything you would want to see if you went to your first hockey game. That being said you would have been so confused on the way some players used their equipment but physical and fights were to be had. This is not that shocking as they have played 4 times already so far this season before this matchup. Things have been getting chippy between the two teams especially in the last two games. This game decided to be the one where the bubble burst and the fireworks began. The action began on an Icing call where after the play Hagaman decided to hit the Bulls Calvas after the whistle triggering Lotz to come out of his net and striking Hagaman baseball style with his stick. Hagaman going to the ground but Lotz not giving up piling on the punches for a dirty play by Hagaman after the whistle. That being said there are ways you react and there are ways you do not react. Coming out of the goal striking him baseball style with your stick is not the proper way to retaliate, and I believe he could have just come out of the net and gave him a good ole socking in the face. THat resulted in the ejection of Lotz and the impending suspension. All the while this is going on Bulls newcomer Anthony Collins starts a good ole hockey fight with Ice Flyers Matt Ustaski. After this whole fireworks show the game got back to a good physical game between the two clubs. The Ice Flyers struck first on a Power Play goal and then extended that lead to 2-0 with a Short Handed goal to end the first period. The first period had a total of 41 penalty minutes. The second period was more of the same scoring wise from Pensacola as they added two more goals to go up 4-0. Logan Nelson got his third goal of the season to make the game 4-1 and that was that. The third period had no scoring and only one penalty. The scary part from the Bulls side is through two periods the Bulls had only 14 shots on goal. If you are unfamiliar with hockey let me just tell you 7 shots a period is not good. Once again letting in a short handed goal to Pensacola is becoming more of a norm than it should be. Going unsuccessful on every Power Play is another one that erks me from the Bulls. They got shots back on track getting 14 in the third finishing up with 26 total shots. Pensacola with more goals and shots on goal than the Bulls with 38 shots. Luckily the Bulls will not see the Ice Flyers until February 20th.
The Bulls got back to playing fundamental physical hockey in their win over the Huntsville Havoc 4-1. This contest not like the one on the previous night had only 28 penalty minutes for the whole game. Lotz being suspended for this game until the SPHL ruled on his actions in the Pensacola game gave newcomer to the Bulls Hayden Stewart the nod in net. He let in an early goal to Ryan Cook and then shut the door for the rest of the night.
First period action saw the Havoc strike first with a goal from Ryan Cook (3) at the 7:37 mark and that would be all she wrote for Havoc offense this game. The first ended with Bulls getting only 5 shots on goal and in non shocking fashion 0-1 on the Power Play. The second period was like a different team came to play. Got a good goal from Jared Legien (former Havoc player) and then the crowd got to see a former Bull get his tail whooped in a fight by current Bull Harrison Harper. The third period saw more scoring from Birmingham as Legien added another one to his total for the night. It has to feel good for a guy who got cut by the Havoc to really stick it to them by scoring not once but twice. Then Tanner Froese wanted to get in on the action scoring his third goal of the season. Alex Gilmour finished the night off scoring wise for Birmingham making the final score 4-1.
The shot total in this one went in favor of the Havoc shockingly 30-25. Stewart got his first W in the Bulls sweater stopping 29/30 shots while Jason Pawloski got the loss for the Havoc stopping 21/24 shots.
The Bulls will start a three game stretch beginning this Thursday @Knoxville, V. Huntsville, @Macon