Bull Droppings 2: More News and Notes

With the announcement that the NHL lockout is over and the San Jose Sharks season will be in full swing a month from now, we can officially announce the Bay Area’s honeymoon with the San Francisco Bulls is over. Beginning with the Thirsty Thursday tilt against the Idaho Steamheads, the Bulls will no longer be the sole option for hockey fans in Nothern California. How severe will the drop-off in attendance be? My guess will be minimal, as hockey lovers continue to welcome a low-cost alternative to Team Teal. The homespun atmosphere, Cow Belle ice girls, and more accessible players are three assets unique to the Cow Palace inhabitants. For a fun night out that doesn’t break the bank you can’t go wrong with minor league hockey.


mitchell bulls
I was in attendance for the much-hyped debut of former San Jose Shark Torrey Mitchell, one of 2032 who attended the Wednesday night game. Mitchell scored the team’s first goal and the weekday crowd went wild. I was too busy shoveling 2-For-1 hot dogs into my gaping maw to stand up and cheer (see photo below) but you couldn’t have asked for a better start to a game.

Unfortunately, the Bulls lost 2-1 in a shootout. The ECHL shootout goes 5 rounds, not 3, and had they adhered to NHL shootout rules the Bulls would have won the game. Alas, it was not to be. Goaltender Taylor Nelson is improving in leaps and bounds after taking over the reins from injured Thomas Heemskirk.


Forward Dean Ouellet has been scoring at a feverish clip for the SF Bulls (17 goals, 14 assists) and the ECHL league office has taken notice, making him a 2012 All-Star. Can a call-up to Worcester be far behind? It should be interesting to see how the Bulls deal with what will now be an ever-changing lineup with the major league players back to work.

Unfairly maligned by (pure conjecture here) bitter post-menopausal women, the Cow Belles took this in stride and have been phenomenal ambassadors for the fledgling franchise. Easily dismissed as eye candy, these girls are impeccable skaters themselves and do a great job of keeping energy up during lulls in the game. Belle Annalysa performed admirably in an on-air interview during Comcast Home Network’s telecast of a game late last month (see stolen photo below). God bless professional hockey players, but most have the charisma of a piece of aged driftwood. A young, well-spoken and attractive promoter can be a godsend in a cluttered marketplace. Follow all things Cow Belle at their new Facebook fan page here: http://www.facebook.com/sfcowbelles


Bull Droppings- News and Notes

  • The NHL cancelled the Winter Classic between Detroit and Toronto (an event I was planning on at least attempting to attend), moving one step closer to a season-long lockout. To quote @DownGoesBrown on Twitter, “Go ahead, cancel the WC. Cancel everything. I hope you all go broke.”
  • Seeing as the Bulls are in the midst of a massive road trip, I took the opportunity to get my fix by purchasing a game on America One Sports. A reliable (if low-resolution) stream of the in-arena feed with radio piped in from knbr.com was provided… after downloading numerous plug-ins to get the damn thing to run correctly. The ECHL is missing a real opportunity by not working with Roku so the stream can be made available on one’s television. That oversight, combined with the $8 per game (or $30 for a month of games) cost, makes for an adequate service for die-hards or those going through severe Bay Area hockey withdrawl. For the casual fan, I’d stick with going to the ocassional home game.
  • The Bulls lost their 5th straight game 6-1 to the Colorado Eagles (in the midst of a 5-game losing streak themselves) in a rather uninspired performance. Team Toro is currently in last place in the Western Conference, a rather inauspicious position to be in considering only the worst team in the entire conference misses the playoffs.
  • Anyone else see the irony in the Bulls loss being sponsored by stayingahead.com when they played nearly the entire game from behind?
  • Ryan Clowe made a mild splash in the papers (er, on the websites) when it was announced that he had signed with the Bulls. Just as quickly, more information emerged that he had only agreed to join them for practices. Much ado about nothing.