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Costly Bullfrog Penalty Puts VooDoo in Control : Roller hockey: Vancouver scores four goals on power play to beat Anaheim, 10-8.


ANAHEIM — There was one major penalty and two differing viewpoints, but it still added up to a 10-8 Bullfrog loss to the Vancouver VooDoo before 10,192 at The Pond of Anaheim on Tuesday.

Bullfrog defenseman Darren Perkins received a major penalty--hitting from behind--when he checked Vancouver's Todd Esselmont into the boards with 4.6 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

Jason Jennings scored on the ensuing penalty shot to give Vancouver a 6-5 lead, then the VooDoo scored three more unanswered goals on the five-minute power play to take control of the Roller Hockey International game.

"You can't be running at a guy when he has no idea you're coming," Vancouver Coach Dave (Tiger) Williams said. "That's why they put that rule in: so no one gets killed. That penalty had to be called."

Bullfrog Coach Grant Sonier disagreed with the severity of the penalty.

"(Esselmont) tried to avoid a check from Ken Murchison and turned into Perkins," Sonier said. "I saw the replay and I think the call was questionable. But there was no doubt, that five-minute major penalty was the difference in the game. Vancouver scored four goals off of it."

Williams agreed the penalty was crucial and his team cashed in the opportunity.

Jennings, Laurie Billeck and Kevin Hoffman each scored two goals, Rob Hyrtsak had a goal and four assists and Brent Bobyk had five assists for the VooDoo (12-6-1), who lead the Northwest Division.

For the Bullfrogs (12-5-1), it won't get any easier because they face the Pacific Division-leading Blades (14-4) tonight at the Forum.

"I give our team a lot of credit because we could have folded up our tent," Sonier said. "We kept coming back against a very good hockey club."

The Bullfrogs started quickly, scoring five goals in six minutes to take a 5-1 lead with 3:51 remaining in the first quarter.

But Vancouver would score eight consecutive goals over the next 19 minutes, capped by Esselmont's goal with 8:49 remaining in the third quarter.

Victor Gervais, who had three goals and an assist, tried to rally the Bullfrogs. Gervais and Rick Judson scored third-quarter power-play goals to cut the lead to 9-7.

After Billeck scored for Vancouver to push the lead to 10-7, Gervais scored on a slap shot with 1:58 remaining to make it 10-8.

With 3:30 remaining, the Bullfrogs pulled goalie Rob Laurie. But Anaheim only managed the one goal by Gervais.

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