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Power Play Works to the Bullfrogs' Advantage : Roller hockey: They convert on seven of 10 chances, and beat Barracudas, 10-3. Series moves to Pond tonight.

August 20, 1995|STEVE KRESAL | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SAN DIEGO — The Bullfrogs anticipated and received a physical contest with host San Diego in a Roller Hockey International Western Division semifinal playoff game Saturday.

The teams combined for 111 penalty minutes, including 45 in the third quarter alone.

The result was several power-play chances and the Bullfrogs converted on seven of 10 and won, 10-3, in front of 3,743 at the San Diego Sports Arena.

The teams have always played intense games and the rivalry increased when San Diego beat the Bullfrogs in a fight-marred game earlier this month.

The Barracudas were called for 64 1/2 minutes of penalties and the Bullfrogs were assessed 46 1/2 minutes.

The Bullfrogs got hat tricks from Todd Wetzel and Rick Judson and Daniel Shank added a Bullfrogs' single-game record six assists. He also had a goal.

The victory gives the Bullfrogs a 1-0 lead in the series, which continues at 7:30 tonight at The Pond of Anaheim.

If San Diego can rebound with a victory, the teams would play a 12-minute mini-game to decide the series.

"I knew they were a physical team," Bullfrog Coach Grant Sonier said. "But I certainly expected a bit more of them than going out and trying to hurt guys."

There also was a bit of bad news for the Bullfrogs (22-5-1), who have beaten the Barracudas in four of five meetings this season.

Shank was called for a game-misconduct penalty and ejected in the fourth quarter. Under league rules, the play will be reviewed by officials today to determine if Shank will be allowed to play in tonight's game or sit out a one-game suspension, which would include the mini-game.

"We'll talk tomorrow," Shank said. "Right now I don't have much to say. I'm just happy we won."

Almost lost in the sea of whistles was the solid defensive play of the Bullfrogs and goalie Rob Laurie. Laurie, an all-star the last two seasons, stopped 27 of 29 shots before coming out after three quarters.

When the Barracudas' John Spoltore scored with 3 minutes 15 seconds left in the first quarter, it ended a streak of 56:54 in which Laurie hadn't given up a goal.

The Bullfrogs dominated the first half, getting three power-play goals on the way to a 4-1 lead.

The Bullfrogs' final goal of the half came when Wetzel scored from the right side of the net off a pass from Shank with 1:07 left.

Wetzel has a team-high 43 goals this season, including seven in the playoffs. His hat trick was his first of the playoffs and eighth of the season. All three of his goals came on power plays.

Shank, who kisses his stick after each goal, placed his lips on his blade after a slap shot went in with 7:51 left in the half. The goal put the Bullfrogs ahead 3-1.

The Bullfrogs outscored San Diego, 5-1, in the third quarter to pull away.

*

Notes

Anyone with a ticket stub from an Angel-Yankee game from Saturday or today will receive $5 off a ticket to tonight's game. San Jose beat Vancouver, 9-3, in the other Western Conference semifinal matchup. The second game will be played Tuesday in San Jose.

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