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Bullfrogs Beat San Jose, Clinch Division Title

Roller hockey: Gervais scores four times, Mitrovic has four assists and Perkins three in 10-7 victory at Pond.

July 29, 1996|PAUL McLEOD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

ANAHEIM — The Bullfrogs, about to leave on a two-week trip, picked up some momentum and a division title Sunday with a 10-7 victory over San Jose at the Pond.

The Bullfrogs (17-3-2) were methodical in defeating the Rhinos in the final 12 minutes of the game, their first victory over San Jose in three tries this season.

Just after the third quarter, the crowd of 10,374 was told of Denver's 7-2 victory over Oklahoma, which clinched the Bullfrogs' third Pacific Division title in the last four years.

Tied at the half, 4-4, the Bullfrogs outscored the Rhinos, 4-1, in the third quarter. Victor Gervais, who scored four times, gave the Bullfrogs a 9-5 advantage just as the fourth quarter began.

Savo Mitrovic had four assists and Darren Perkins had three. Mark Woolf and Darren Colbourne each scored twice for San Jose. The Bullfrogs have lost only once in their last 10 games.

The Rhinos (11-10-1) continued their slide. They've lost six of their last 10 and have fallen from first to third in the Northwestern Division. They thought they might have righted themselves with a 9-1 victory over San Diego. In that game, goaltender Joe Bonvie set a team record for fewest goals given up.

Bonvie, however, didn't play against the Bullfrogs until the fourth quarter, after the Bullfrogs had peppered Rhino goalie Grant Sjerven.

The Bullfrogs play five of their last six games on the road and finish the regular season Aug. 14 at the Pond against San Diego.

"I think the next few games will be a real test for us," said rookie Glenn Stewart, who had a goal and an assist Sunday. "I don't think we can slow down. We want to win."

The Bullfrogs have 34 points, best in the Western Conference and second behind Minnesota (18-4-0, 36 points) in Roller Hockey International.

"When you are on the road you face a lot more adversity, especially as long as this will be," Coach Grant Sonier said. "But we want to be as good as we can be in terms of our record. We can't afford to let up in the standings. We don't want to jeopardize having the home-court advantage."

Said Gervais, who opened the scoring with a goal off a pass from Perkins early in the second quarter: "It's going to be tough because teams are fighting for playoff spots out there at the end of the season and they want to win too."

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