By Riley Maracle
The Belleville Bulls came up short at their home opener Saturday night at the Yardmen arena. The Bulls lost 4-1 to the North Bay Battalion.
Once the puck dropped, the teams took some time to crack the scoreboard. Late in the first period Czech Republic native David Tomasek tipped one past Battalion goaltender Brendan O’Neill. The goal was Tomasek’s third point in two games.
After the first period, North Bay took control of the game. At 4:59 in the second period, Centre Mike Amadio, put his second goal of the season past Bulls goalie Charlie Graham to tie the game up at one. Then ten minutes later Jamie Lewis scored to give the Battalion a 2-1 lead.
The third period started off with some fast-paced play but no goals were scored until seven and a half minutes in when the Battalion extended their lead off a goal from Vincent Praplan. Ten minutes later North Bay put the game out of reach with a goal from Alex Henriksson to make it 4-1.
The Bulls started off the night with the unveiling of their 2013 East Division Champions banner. The 2,866 fans in attendance cheered to saluting last year’s team who were able to force a game 7 against the Barrie Colts in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The game was able to display some of the bright new rookies. Forward Jake Bricknell played his first game in front of the Belleville crowd Saturday. He says he enjoyed the experience.
“It’s great, good atmosphere,” said Bricknell. “Good playing with a new bunch of guys.”
Garrett Hooey recorded his first assist of the season on the lone Belleville goal of the night. Hooey said he feels good to be back in front of the Belleville crowd.
“To be honest it’s a great feeling to back home in Belleville,” said Hooey.
Hooey said he fells the intensity level of the team needs to improve.
“It was pretty intense but I feel like we need to do a bit more,” said Hooey. “I don’t think we can just be satisfied with that intensity level, I think we got to crank it up.”
Scott Simmonds took part in his fourth home opener in Belleville Saturday night. He said he Felt good about the home town crowd to start off a new season.
“It was nice, the crowd was great and a lot of support out there it was unfortunate that we couldn’t get a win for them but we did our best,” said Simmonds. “It was really loud, and that helps us every time, we are thankful for the fans they mean so much to us and they are probably the best in the league and we are thankful for that.”
The Bulls next game is Friday when they travel to Mississauga to face the Stealheads.