By James Hayes | Field Pass Hockey
The Bulls welcomed the Quad City Storm into the Pelham Civic Center on Friday night. This was the first matchup between the two teams this season and only the second time they have met since the 2019-20 season. The Bulls were looking to build some momentum after splitting the previous weekend with the Rail Yard Dawgs and did just that. The Bulls used a huge first period to shut out the Storm 4-0.
Birmingham put on a show for a crowd of 3246 fans. The first period was full of excitement and plenty for the home crow to cheer for. Captain Mike Davis started the scoring for the Bulls when he buried the puck in the back of the net early on to give Birmingham the lead. Shortly thereafter, Jordan Martin added a goal of his own, and the Bulls were off and running.
Just over two minutes later, the wheels fell off for the Storm when Taylor Brierley fed the puck to Bulls leading scorer Michael Gillespie and Gillespie found the back of the net for the 21st time this season. At this point, Quad City head coach Dave Pszenyczny decided to pull starting goaltender Kevin Resop in favor of Ryan Edquist.
Tension began to boil over late in the first, resulting in a spirited bout between Mackenzie Dwyer and Tommy Tsicos. Both players would be sent into the penalty box for the remainder of the period with fighting majors. When the horn sounded after one, the Bulls led the Storm 3-0.
Birmingham completely dominated play in the second period and outshot the Storm 21-3. However, Edquist stood tall in the net and turned every shot away. The score remained 3-0 heading into the final period.
The third period was a grind for both teams. The Bulls were given an early powerplay opportunity when Logan Nelson was called for tripping, but the powerplay unit was unable to convert. The grind continued as the Bulls, and goaltender Hayden Stewart tried to prevent the Storm from getting on the scoreboard. Finally, with just over seven minutes remaining in the period, the hard work paid off in the form of another goal. This time it came off the stick of Scott Donahue and the team’s fourth goal of the night solidified the Bull’s lead.
When the final horn sounded, the Bulls were victorious, and Hayden Stewart got his second shutout of the season, stopping all 20 shots he faced. It was a dominating performance by the Bulls, who are battling for a top spot in the standings. They currently sit fourth and are only five points out of that coveted number-one spot in the league.
The boys will be back at it again on Saturday night in what is expected to be a huge crowd on adult jersey giveaway night. They will face off against Quad City once again at the Pelham Civic Center as they chase an all-important two points in the standings. Puck drop will be at 7:00 p.m. CST, with the doors opening at 6:00 p.m. CDT.