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Bullfrogs Take 52 Shots but Can’t Beat Blades : Roller hockey: Blade goaltender Mikhailovsky makes a stand in 8-5 victory at the Forum.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Bullfrogs reached a new level of frustration in their 8-5 loss to the Blades before 4,981 at the Forum Wednesday night.

The Blades (15-4) took an early five-goal lead and then goaltender Max Mikhailovsky held off the Bullfrogs by stopping 47 of 52 shots.

Craig Charron had a goal and three assists for the Blades (15-4), who strengthened their hold on first place in the Pacific Division of Roller Hockey International. The Bullfrogs (12-6-1) remain in second place, and Mikhailovsky has a lot to do with it.

“People just say Max keeps having great games, but 14 of his 18 games have been great,” Blade Coach Bobby Hull Jr. said. “Let’s face it, he’s a great goalie.”

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One that has become particularly troublesome for the Bullfrogs. Mikhailovsky made 50 saves in the Blades’ 7-4 victory over the Bullfrogs July 23 at The Pond of Anaheim.

“I’m starting to have nightmares about Max,” Bullfrog Coach Grant Sonier said. “We took 50-something shots tonight and we still didn’t shoot the puck enough. I thought we dominated the hockey game, but we lost.”

Sonier remained composed after the game although his team continues to struggle. The Bullfrogs have won only one of their last five games, and after a 9-1 start, they are 3-5-1 since the All-Star break.

“I don’t know what it will take for me to finally get mad,” Sonier said. “But how many times can I say that we played well and still lost the game?”

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The difference proved to be costly penalties taken by the Bullfrogs and sloppy puckhandling at the top of the slot, which led to numerous breakaway chances for the Blades.

The Blades scored on four of six power plays and Tony Gruba, Charron and Nick Vachon beat Bullfrog goalie Chris Gordon on breakaways.

“We’ll take what the other team gives us,” Hull said. “Look at the standings and you can see there is a new team at the top. Now we’re the team to beat.”

Savo Mitrovic, Jim Brown and Victor Gervais each had a goal and an assist for the Bullfrogs. Gervais and Steve Beadle scored power-play goals to draw the Bullfrogs within 5-3 in the second quarter, but the Blades shut the door in the third quarter and pushed the lead to 7-3.

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Notes

Bullfrog playoff tickets will go on sale Monday and Anaheim will play host to a first-round game Aug. 17 or Aug. 20. . . . The Bullfrogs traded Mike Butters to Montreal for a second-round draft pick and future considerations. Butters, who led the team in penalty minutes last season, was on the team’s protected list. . . . The Bullfrogs finish the regular season with games at Phoenix (Friday), at Calgary (Aug. 12), and at Edmonton (Aug. 14).


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