| | The Bulls finished off the Kingston Frontenacs last night with a 5-3 victory in Kingston. It was a hard fought series with 3 out of 4 games ending close, the only exception being the first game, a 10-2 Bulls win. The other games ended up: 3-2, 6-5 2OT and 5-3 for the sweep in 4 straight games. If all of the favorites win in the first round, it will be Belleville vs. Ottawa in the second round. These are always very entertaining series, but are also nerve racking for fans, players and coaches alike because of the way the series is played. It never seems to matter who has the better team, every game is played on pure emotion rather than skill and talent due to the long standing rivalry between the two cities. Other possible opponents are the Peterborough Petes and the Barrie Colts. The outcomes are not decided as of yet, but we will know in a few short days.
SERIES RECAP Nate Robinson scored the first goal of the series, which was just the beginning for him as he proceeded to dominate the rest of the way providing the spark for the Bulls in each game. He collected 4 points (1G, 3A) in the first game and played extremely well short-handed. The Bulls were a well-oiled machine in the first game with the top two lines providing the scoring punch and the third line banging and crashing. Banging and crashing might somehow be understating a bit, since the Bulls set a team record with 118 registered hits and Cody McCormick (CSB #93) recording 22 hits himself. It appeared it would be an even game after the first period with the score only 1-0, but then the Bulls broke out in the second and never looked back. Coach Jim Hulton went with a three-line rotation throughout the game, with the fourth line seeing no action until the third period where they replaced the first line for a regular shift as Hulton rested his star line. Other top scorers for the Bulls in the first game were: Kyle Wellwood (CSB #121) (5A), Branko Radivojevic (Colorado) (1G, 3A), Randy Rowe (3G, 1A), Mike Renzi (2G), Matt Stajan (2A), Nick Policelli (2A), Malcolm Hutt (1G), Matt Coughlin (1A), David Cornacchia (1A), Michael Jacobsen (Chicago) (1G), Andre Deveaux (Eligible 2002) (1G) and Alex White (Eligible 2001) (1A). Kingston’s best player in the first game was probably Cory Stillman (CSB #30), who showed some very good passing ability. Peter Hamerlik (Pittsburgh) was replaced by rookie Glen Ridler (Eligible 2001) in the third who was quit impressive. Michael Zigomanis (Buffalo) was noticeably absent from the entire series due to a previous injury.Defensively, Coughlin and Dan Growden had very good games for Belleville while Jan Chovan (CSB #10) played well in net.The rest of the games were not quit as high scoring but were very close, with all three coming down to the last few minutes of the game. As mentioned, the second game was a 3-2 win for Belleville with Rowe scoring the winning goal in the 3rd period. The 3rd game was the most exciting ending on a Radivojevic goal late in the 2nd overtime period. The game was sent into overtime in the last minute of the 3rd period on a power-play goal coming from a goal mouth scramble. The power-play came as a result of a stick measurement called for by Kingston bench-boss Larry Mavety on Wellwood’s stick, which was found to be too wide at the toe. Ridler played very well in the third period and in overtime after he replaced Hamerlik in the Kingston goal in the second period due to an injury suffered on a harmless looking play involving Renzi. It was later revealed that Hamerlik suffered a separated shoulder. Wellwood (2A) and Robinson (2G, 2A) had very good games for the Bulls while Growden was a standout on the blueline. Other scorers for the Bulls in the 3rd game were: Stajan (3A), Renzi (1G, 1A), Rowe (2A), Coughlin (1G), Policelli (1G), Hutt (1A) and Radivojevic (1G).
Andrew Ianiero (Ottawa) played very well for Kingston in the 3rd game displaying some nice passing and puck handling skills.
The 4th game saw Wellwood pot the winner with about 7 minutes to go in the 3rd on another wild goal mouth scramble and then Rowe added an empty netter to seal the victory and the series for Belleville.This was an entertaining series between the two neighbouring towns but it was Belleville who was the stronger team this year. It may have been a different series had Zigomanis been in Kingston’s lineup, but I don’t think they had the depth to handle the Bulls even if he had been there.
REPORT ON DRAFTED AND 2001 ELIGIBLE PLAYERS
Paulo Colaiacovo (G) CSB-#16 – did not play.
Jan Chovan (G) #10 – played well, a little inconsistent letting in some bad goals but then coming up with acrobatic saves.
Michael Jacobsen (D) CHI – solid defensive work.
Cody McCormick (C) #93 – wrecking machine, hit everything that moved.
Alex White (RW) unranked – showed some good puck skills, needs more aggressiveness.
Branko Radivojevic (RW) COL – excellent shot and good work ethic, very emotional.
Rob Dmytruk (D) unranked – not dressed.
Kyle Wellwood (C) #121 – amazing vision, passing skills and puck control. Dominates offensive zone, showed good defensive work as well.
Andrew Brown (LW) #123 – hard nosed player, needs more confidence with puck.
Glen Ridler (G) unranked – small goalie, good reflexes and athleticism, some shaky goals.
Peter Hamerlik (G) Pitts – played well against good offensive team, injured in 3rd game.
Nathan Tennant (D) unranked – solid defenseman.
Shane O’Brien (D) unranked – big physical defenseman.
Cory Stillman (C) #30 – good passing skills.
Michael Zigomanis (C) BUF – did not play, injured.
Andrew Ianiero (LW) OTT – strong skater and good puck skills, Kingston’s best player.
Brett Clouthier (LW) NJ – terrible skater, big strong guy who goes to net, not effective.
Justin McCutcheon (RW) unranked – hard worker.
Rowe, Wellwood, Radivojevic
Renzi, Stajan, Robinson
Silverstone, McCormick, Paiement
Brown, Deveaux, White
Playoff ScoringPlayoff Performers
1.Randy Rowe 101.Nate Robinson
2.Branko Radivojevic 102.Kyle Wellwood
3.Kyle Wellwood 103.Matt Coughlin
4.Nate Robinson 94.Randy Rowe
5.Matt Stajan 6 5.Michael Jacobsen